Julia Glushko is on the verge of replacing Shahar Pe’er as the Israel No. 1
after advancing to the main draw of Roland Garros for the first time in her
career on Friday.
The 23-year-old Glushko, who is currently ranked at No.
150 in the world, beat Anastasia Rodionova (134) 6-3, 4-6, 8-6 in the third
round of qualifying in Paris. Glushko faces Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor (71) of
Spain in the first round and will be aiming to record her first ever Grand Slam
main draw win after losing in her major debut at the US Open last
Even should Glushko lose to Torro- Flor, she is likely to leapfrog
Pe’er will need to record one of the biggest wins of her career if
she’s to avoid losing her status as the Israel No. 1 after being drawn on Friday
to face world No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska in the first round.
26-year-old Pe’er, who has been Israel’s No. 1 since overtaking Anna Smashnova
in 2006, dropped 13 places to No. 136 in the world last week, but was still
ranked high enough at the cut-off date on April 15 to automatically qualify for
the main draw in Paris.
However, her chances of stunning Radwanska seem
to be virtually nonexistent considering her dismal form.
Pe’er lost in
the first round in her past two tournaments on the second-tier ITF Tour before
falling in the second round of the qualifiers of the WTA event in Brussels last
A defeat for Pe’er in the first round at Roland Garros will see her
crash around another 40 places in the rankings.
In the doubles, Andy Ram
and Yoni Erlich will team-up at Roland Garros for the first time since Ram
injured his hip during Israel’s 3-2 victory over Japan in the Davis Cup World
Group playoffs last September.
The 33-year-old Ram made his return to the
ATP Tour in April, first teaming up with Rohan Bopanna of India and then Andre
Sa of Brazil, but will finally return to playing with Erlich in Paris, with the
doubles draw to be revealed on Sunday.
Israel will not have any
representative in the Roland Garros men’s singles tournament after Dudi Sela
didn’t receive direct entry to the draw and Amir Weintraub failed to qualify
Sela jumped 22 places to No. 88 in the world last week after
claiming the title in the Busan Challenger tournament in South Korea. However,
Sela, who returned to the world’s top-100 for the first time since last November
and reached his highest ranking in a year, did not receive direct entry to the
main draw in Paris as he wasn’t ranked high enough in the crucial cut-off date
Sela elected to forgo the qualifiers at Roland Garros and due
to the fact that the likes of Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Potro only pulled
out once the qualifiers began, the places vacated in the main draw went to lucky
losers in the third round of the qualifiers.
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