Ram makes Australian Open semis


MELBOURNE, Australia (JTA) — Israeli tennis star Andy Ram reached the mixed doubles semifinals at the Australian Open.

Ram and his partner, France’s Natalie Dechy, will face the No. 7 seeds, Anabel Medina Garrigues and Tommy Robredo of Spain, on Thursday for a berth in the final of the first Grand Slam event of the year.

On Wednesday, the unseeded Ram-Dechy team defeated Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova and Austria’s Jurgen Melzer in the quarterfinals, 7-5, 6-1, in just  58 minutes amid soaring temperatures of nearly 109 degrees.

“I’m playing well, I’m exploding on the court,” Ram told JTA after the match.

He said he was confident he could win the tournament.

“I hope I play as good as I’ve been playing so far," he said. "Every time I play I have the feeling I can win.”

The pair defeated the No. 4 seeds, Liezel Huber and Jamie Murray, in the second round Monday.

Ram has won three Grand Slam titles in his career — the mixed doubles at Wimbledon in 2006, the mixed doubles at the French Open in 2007 and the men’s doubles in Australia last year with Yoni Erlich. The victory with Erlich was the first time an all-Israeli team won a Grand Slam title.

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