The last Israeli man standing at the 2013 Australian Open tennis tournament is Jonathan Erlich, who pulled out a tough win Saturday in the doubles competition with South African partner, Kevin Anderson. The pair will now advance to the third round of the coveted championship.
Erlich and Anderson beat the Australian doubles duo of Matthew Barton and John Millman in three sets: 6-1, 6-7, 6-3.
In the previous round, Ehrlich and Anderson defeated the defending champions, Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek. They will now face the unseeded all-Dutch team of Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling.
The Australian open is the first of the four major tournaments in each calendar year, the grand slams. It follows immediately on the heels of the shortest off-season in sports: some two months for top players.
The Argentinian-born Erlich is a former grand slam champion, having won the Australian Open in 2008 with longtime partner Andy Ram, who is currently injured.
In the women’s singles draw, noted Israeli player Shahar Peer was bounced out of the tournament on Thursday, losing a nervy second-round match to 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan.
Peer is attempting to recover from a demoralizing end to her 2012 season, when she suffered six straight defeats heading into the off-season.
The Australian Open is taking place in Melbourne, Australia, from January 14 to 27.