Andy Ram keeps Israeli hopes alive at Wimbledon
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Andy Ram keeps Israeli hopes alive at Wimbledon

Surprise-filled tennis tournament enters its second week

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Andy Ram of Israel in the Davis Cup World Group quarterfinal doubles tennis match between Israel and Russia, in 2009. (photo credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90)
Andy Ram of Israel in the Davis Cup World Group quarterfinal doubles tennis match between Israel and Russia, in 2009. (photo credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90)

Andy Ram is the sole remaining Israeli in the 2013 Wimbledon Championship as the Grand Slam tennis event enters its second week  on Monday.

The oldest tennis tournament in the world, hosted in London since 1877, provided sporting fans with multiple surprises in the opening rounds as top seeds Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova were all knocked out early on. Other leading players, like Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Victoria Azarenka, succumbed to injury and pulled out.

With so many of the top players out, Serena Williams’s path to defend the women’s title looks clear, and the world’s No. 1 player Novak Djokovic appears well-placed to win the men’s tournament. However, with the crowd behind the local Andy Murray and the many upsets already registered, the bookies are certain to be more cautious.

For Israeli tennis fans, the tournament marked the first time in years with no blue-and-white player in the singles tournament, as all four of the country’s top rackets failed to make it past the qualifying rounds. Amir Weintraub and Dudi Sela lost in the men’s category, while Shahar Peer and Julia Glushko were defeated in the women’s.

The weekend elimination of Jonathan Erlich and his Italian partner from the men’s doubles tournament left Ram, paired with Abigail Spears of the US in the mixed-doubles category, as the last Israeli.

Ram and Spears will face the 11th seeds — Marcin Matkowski of Poland and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic — in the second round on Monday.

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