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Page last updated at 18:38 GMT, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Ram happy despite defeat in Dubai

Andy Ram
Ram has won 15 doubles titles, including the 2008 Australian Open

Andy Ram said he was satisfied despite his first-round defeat in Dubai.

The Israeli doubles player was given a visa to play in the championships after one had been denied to compatriot Shahar Peer for the women's singles.

Ram and Zimbabwean team-mate Kevin Ullyett lost 3-6 6-3 8-10 to Marat Safin and David Ferrer in their first-round match amid tight security.

"Coming here was something big, because it showed that we should not involve sports with politics," said Ram.

"It's a bridge that connects people, countries, culture, everything, religions, and that's the beauty of it. That's why I decided to go into sports and not politics."

The match took place on an outside court with spectator seats only at one end and fans had to enter through airport-style security barriers.

Mobile phones and bottles of water were not allowed on the court but water was eventually given out to spectators in plastic cups.

Sport is a bridge that connects people, countries, culture, everything, religions, and that's the beauty of it

Andy Ram

Ram, who was protected by two bodyguards when he entered the court, added that he encountered no problems and would be happy to return next year.

"Definitely. Everything was just good and the people I was in touch with here were so nice to me," he said.

"From the first moment I arrived at the airport, they took me to the hotel and treated me very well.

"I think it's something good for the future in 30, 40 years, that something like this wouldn't happen again.

"I decided it was the right decision to play here and I will come and try to do it again."

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see also
Murray crushes Clement in Dubai
25 Feb 09 |  Tennis


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