April 5, 1977
Professional tennis player Jonathan Erlich, known as Yoni, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on April 5, 1977. Erlich’s family made aliyah when he was one year old, settling in Haifa where he started playing tennis at an early age. Training at the Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sports in Netanya, Erlich met fellow Israeli tennis player Andy Ram who would become his doubles partner.
In January 2008, Erlich and Ram became the first Israelis to win a Grand Slam tennis championship, where they defeated Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement of France 7-5, 7-6. Following the victory, Ram said, “We are so happy to be the first Israelis. We made history today…It’s a great day for us, for our family, for Israel, for everybody.” The photo shows the duo after receiving their trophy. Erlich is on the right.
Erlich and Ram would also represent Israel in three Olympic Games (2004, 2008 and 2012). In the 2012 London games, the duo defeated world number 1 Roger Federer and his partner Stanislaw Wawrinka before losing in the quarterfinals to the eventual gold medalists, the Bryan brothers from the United States, in a close match.
Erlich has won over $2 million and seventeen championships over the course of his career. He is currently the 74th ranked doubles player in the world. Erlich lives in Tel Aviv.