In the world of professional tennis, some doubles players change their partners as often as most people change their socks.
Jonathan Erlich’s choice of partners has been consistent – he usually teams up with fellow Israeli Andy Ram.
And his results have also been consistent.
Since turning pro in 1993, Erlich, 33, has established a reputation as a top doubles competitor. Once ranked as high as number five in the world, his ranking has dropped – but it will probably go up again, following his triumph this week – this time with Serbia’s Novak Djokovic – in the AEGON Championships at the Queens Club in London, an annual prelude to the Grand Slam Wimbledon tournament that starts next week.
The championship marked the first doubles trophy for Djokovic, the third-ranked singles player in the world.
“It’s important to me, I was lucky to be playing with one of the best players in the world,” Djokavic said.
”I’m very excited. I’d been waiting to win that title for a long time, for two years,” said Erlich, playing at the net in his final match against Karol Beck of Slovakia and David Skoch of the Czech Republic.
Erlich’s last doubles championship, with Ram, came in 2008 at Indian Wells, California.
His only Grand Slam title was the 2008 Australian Open, teamed with Ram.
Erlich and Ram are natives of South America who moved to Israel as children: Erlich, from Argentina; Ram, from Uruguay.
Erlich, who trained at the Wingate Institute near Netanya, has won 14 doubles championships in the last decade, 12 of them with Ram.
The rankings and doubles pairings at Wimbledon were to be released early this week. Erlich and his doubles partner will probably be highly ranked.
And that won’t be a change.
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