Last Israeli knocked out of Wimbledon

Last Israeli knocked out of Wimbledon

Andy Ram fails to advance past the second round in the mixed doubles

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)

Israeli tennis pro Andy Ram and his partner Abigail Spears (USA) were knocked out of play Tuesday, in a Wimbledon tournament highlighted by multiple upsets and early exits for the world’s top rackets.

Ram and Spears lost in two sets, 5-7, 5-7 to Marcin Matkowski of Poland and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic, the 11th seeded pair, in a match that was close the whole way, but never tilted in the Israelis’ direction.

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 players 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 had left Ram, paired with Spears of the US in the mixed-doubles category, as the last Israeli.

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 seemed clear — but she too was eliminated from play in a surprising victory by Sabine Lisicki of Germany.

The world’s No. 1 player, Novak Djokovic, appears well-placed to win the men’s tournament. However, with the crowd behind a local, Andy Murray, and the many upsets already registered, anything can happen.

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