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Monday, April 07, 2008

Israeli's (And Community) Excited Over Jewish Tennis Players

(Hat Tip:

(Image: Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich, Credit: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

Of all the sports one could become passionate over, tennis may not be the first thought to pop into one's mind.

However it looks as if three Jewish players have become super stars within the holy land, as well as within their own communities.

(ESPN) Erlich and Ram became the first Israelis to win a Grand Slam doubles title with their success Down Under, although it should be mentioned that Ram had previously reeled in two mixed-doubles trophies at majors. As for Peer, she recently made history by becoming the first Israeli player to compete in an Arab country when she played the Doha, Qatar, tournament in February, reaching the quarterfinals. [...]

Ram described the enthusiastic scene when he and Erlich returned home from their Australian Open victory as "crazy," mentioning phone calls from top government officials, rooms of reporters seeking interviews and additional perks: "We've become even more celebrities now in Israel -- we were famous but now it's become even more so. It's nice, it's part of the good thing in the sport. We go back to Israel and everything is for free now. I went to cut my hair and it was free.

Hopefully this will not be the last we see of Jonathan Erlich, Andy Ram, and Shahar Peer (previously covered on IsraGood) in the realm of tennis, as these athletes are helping to shape Israel's global perception as a more "kosher" place. :-)

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