Whether they'll qualify for a medal and make Israeli Olympic history remains to be seen, but Israel's tennis duo of Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich has already made it an Olympics to remember in London.
The South American-born Israeli duo popularly known as "AndiYoni" stunned Switzerland's duo of Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka on Wednesday at the All England Club, advancing to the quarterfinal round of the Olympic men's doubles tournament. Federer and Wawrinka were the gold medalists four years ago in Beijing, and Federer was the biggest star in the men's doubles tournament.
Ram is no stranger to success at the All England Club, as he and Vera Zvonareva won the mixed doubles competition at Wimbledon in 2006, marking the first time an Israeli player had ever captured a senior Grand Slam championship. Now, with Erlich, he's set to make more history at the venerated venue after a stunning win.
The match didn't get off to an auspicious beginning for the Israeli duo, as Federer and Wawrinka won the first set by a commanding 6-1 margin. The second set, however, was a different story, as Ram and Erlich matched their Swiss rivals shot for shot over the course of 41 grueling minutes, finally winning by a 7-6 score (7-5 in the tiebreaker). In the third set, Erlich and Ram were able to break serve with a win in the fourth game to go up at 3-1, holding serve for a 6-3 win to clinch the match.
With the 2008 gold medalists vanquished, Erlich and Ram - the winners of the 2008 Australian Open - will now turn their attention to the top seed in the tournament. They'll meet the American brother duo of Bob and Mike Bryan. A win there would bring "AndiYoni" within one more victory of Israel's first ever Olympic medal in tennis.
J-Connection: Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich are both Jewish.