Pe’er, Sela advance

Shahar Pe’er and Dudi Sela will be the clear favorites to defend their Israel national titles in Ra’anana.

December 24, 2010 07:30
1 minute read.
Tennis players Shahar Pe'er and Dudi Sela.

peer and sela_311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Shahar Pe’er and Dudi Sela will be the clear favorites to defend their Israel national titles in Ra’anana on Friday.

Pe’er faces Julia Glushko in a repeat of last year’s final, looking for a fifth straight title and the seventh of her career.

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Israel’s number 1 has dropped just three games in her three matches in Ra’anana so far, defeating Hen Astrogo 6-0, 6-1 on Thursday to book a showdown with Glushko, who overcame Denise Hazaniuk 6-2, 6-0.

“This was the first time in two months that I have played well as I wanted to find my rhythm ahead of the final,” said Pe’er, who is chasing Tova Epstein’s record of 11 national championships, including eight consecutive titles between 1965 and 1972. “I have had tough finals in recent years and it won’t be easy against Julia because she is playing well.”

The 20-year-old Glushko is coming off the best year of her career, winning four ITF titles to climb to her current career-best ranking of No. 235.

Sela beat Noam Okun 7-6, 6- 4 and will play Amir Weintraub in the final for the second straight year after the latter defeated Sa’ar Stil 6-4, 6-3.

The 32-year-old Okun announced his retirement after the defeat to Sela, saying it was time to move on with his life.

“Considering this was my last match I was pleased with the way I played,” said Okun, who was ranked as high as No. 95 in the world in 2002 and won 17 of 32 matches he played for Israel’s Davis Cup team between 1999 and 2008. “It hurts to leave the game but I had no choice. It is time to move on and take with me the good things tennis gave me and lift my head up high.”

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