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Erlich-Ram Capture 14th Team Title

ATP World Tour 2011 Season: Week 34

Trophy Presentation© Fred Mullane/ Camerawork USA The hardy fans remaining on site shared in Erlich and Ram's triumph.

Israelis Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram captured their 14th tour-level doubles title together in a rain-interrupted 7-6(2), 6-4 victory over fourth seeds Christopher Kas of Germany and Austrian Alexander Peya on Saturday at the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University.

After two rain delays, very few fans remained on site, but those that did were rewarded by Tournament Director Bill Oakes, who brought everyone onto court for the trophy presentation.

Erlich and Ram, who won the AEGON International at Eastbourne in June, are now 14-12 lifetime together in title matches. The duo split $30,650 in prize money and earned 250 points towards their ATP Doubles Ranking. Kas and Peya received $16,100 and 150 points.

“It’s another title with Andy and I’m very happy about it,” said Erlich. “We gained confidence going into the US Open and hopefully we’ll get very fast where we want to be.”

The final was suspended due to rain when Erlich and Ram led 6-2 in the tie-break after 52 minutes of play. Play resumed after 20 minutes and Erlich and Ram raced into a 3-0 lead in the second set, before Ram had his serve broken to 15.

The rain showers returned after a further 23 minutes play, with Kas serving at 2-4, 40/0 in the second set.  Play resumed after 79 minutes, with Erlich and Ram holding on to close out victory just seven minutes later.

“It was a weird final, on and off, on and off,” said Erlich. “We had no clothes because all our clothes were in the laundry and had to play with dirty shirts in the end, it was funny! It was a great feeling in the end and it was very special to have everyone on court with us at the end. That doesn’t happen every week.”

Kas and Peya were left disappointed in a title match for the third time this season, after runner-up finishes in Delray Beach (l. to Lipsky-Ram) and in Gstaad (l. to Cermak-Polasek). The 31-year-old Kas dropped to a 3-12 mark in finals, while Peya, also 31, slipped to a 1-7 record.

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© Hiroshi Sato

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