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Andy Ram

(1980 - )

Andy Ram is a Uruguayan-born Israeli professional tennis player. He represented Israel in three Olympic games.

Ram was born on April 10, 1980, in Uruguay and became a professional tennis player in 1996 at the age of 16, but did not compete in a Grand Slam tournament until 2001. His reputation was made Wimbledon in 2003, when Andy was one of the most successful players in the tournament, reaching the semifinals in men's doubles and the final in mixed doubles (the first Israeli to advance to a Wimbledon final). Ram and Jonathan Erlich won the Thailand Open in September and the Lyon tournament on October 12, 2003, and thus began a series of tournament victories. They won first place in Indianapolis, Istanbul, India, Rotterdam, and Milan. At his peak, Ram was ranked 19th in the world (April 2004).

Ram and Erlich were considered among the favorites in the 2004 Olympic doubles event, as they were ranked 8th overall. They did well in the first round, defeating Thomas Enqvist and Robin Soderling of Sweden 7-5, 6-3 on August 16. The duo was favored to beat Russians Igor Andreev and Nikolay Davydenko in the second round. The Russians broke Ram and Erlich's serve in the very first game, but the Israelis recovered to win in two sets 6-4, 6-1. The Israeli duo played Germans Nicolas Kiefer and Rainer Schuettler in the quarterfinals and started well. Ram and Erlich broke the Teutonic serve at 3-2 in the first set and again at 5-2. However, after an excellent first set, the Israelis were dominated by Kiefer and Schuettler. Ram and Erlich were eliminated in three sets 6-2, 2-6, 2-6.

In 2006, Ram became the first Israeli tennis player to win a grand slam title when he captured the mixed doubles title at Wimbledon with his Russian partner, Vera Zvonareva.

In 2008, Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich became the first Israeli doubles tennis team to win a Grand Slam tennis title. The pair, seeded eighth, defeated the seventh-seeded French duo, Arnaud Clement and Michael Llorda, in the Australian Open in Melbourne. Erlich and Ram again competed together in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Erlich and Ram made their third straight doubles appearance; however, they lost in the quarterfinals yet again, this time to top-ranked Americans, Mike and Bob Ryan.

In May 2014, at age 34, he announced his retirement.

Sources: Jews In Sports.
Washington Jewish Week ( August 31, 2006).
JTA (January 27, 2008).

Photo: si.robi, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.