Dudi Sela suffered one of the more emphatic defeats of his career on Thursday,
losing 6-1, 6-0 to France’s Benoit Paire in a mere 40 minutes in the second
round of the Chennai Open in India.
In their only previous meeting
exactly one year ago, Sela, ranked No. 109 in the world, defeated Paire (47) to
advance to the quarterfinals in Chennai.
However, the 27-year-old Israeli
was blown off the court on Thursday, winning just 21 percent (6 of 29) of the
points on Paire’s first serve and only 25% (3 of 12) of the points on his second
Sela will now turn his attention to the start of the Australian
Open qualifiers next week after failing to grab an automatic spot in the main
draw of the year’s first Grand Slam tournament, which gets underway on January
Shahar Pe’er (74) returns to the court in Sydney on Friday, just four
days after being thrashed 6-1, 6-3 by world No. 131 Elina Svitolina in
her first match of the new season in the opening round of Shenzhen Open in
Pe’er, who cut her 2012 season short at the end of August after
electing to sit out the final two months of her campaign due to a left-leg
injury, will be hoping for a better showing when she faces Greta Arn (114) in
the first round of the Sydney International qualifiers.
Pe’er hasn’t had
to qualify for a tournament since October 2009, but her lowly ranking combined
with a strong lineup in Sydney means that she, as well as the likes of world No.
37 Sabine Lisicki, will have to win three matches just to reach the main draw.