Dudi Sela, Julia Glushko 311.
(photo credit: (Israel Tennis Association))
Julia Glushko ended Shahar Pe’er’s five-year reign as Israel champion on Friday,
recording a convincing 6-3, 6-4 victory over her Fed Cup teammate in the final
of the national championships in Ra’anana.
After winning just three games
against Pe’er in the 2009 final and pushing Israel’s No. 1 to a third set last
year, Glushko dominated her illustrious rival on Friday on the way to her first
career Israel title.
“I would be lying if I said I thought I’d beat
Shahar in straight sets,” said an emotional Glushko (No. 206 in the
“I believed in myself more this year after coming so close last
time. I played well throughout the match and I hope that I can build on this
victory when I begin my season in China before playing in the Australian Open
qualifiers. This win gives me a lot of confidence and I hope I can play
like this throughout the year.”
Despite losing in the Israel
championships for the first time since 2005 and failing to claim her eighth
national title, Pe’er wasn’t too disappointed with Friday’s defeat.
lost and that’s no tragedy,” Pe’er (37) said. “The Israel championships are
important to me, but I have more important goals. I’ve only just come back from
injury and I lost because I made most of the mistakes.
“However, there is
no shame in losing to someone who played better than you.”
There was no
surprise in the men’s final, with Dudi Sela (83) avenging last year’s defeat and
winning his third national title with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Amir Weintraub
Sela stuttered his way into the final, but he was in complete
control on Friday and fully deserved to lift his third national
“I’m happy to be Israel champion again,” Sela
said. “However, this isn’t a match which will have any implications on
the upcoming season. I’m facing some very important tournaments in
Australia and I hope to succeed there.
“The work with my new coach Yoav
Ben-Zvi is paying off and I’m feeling much better on court.”