Dudi Sela dug deep on Monday night in the first round of the US Open, beating
Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 7-6(2), 6-3, 6- 7(2), 5-7, 6-4 in a thrilling
fivesetter at Flushing Meadows.
Then, in an even bigger Israeli surprise,
Julia Glushko also advanced to the second round in New York with an impressive
6-3, 6-4 victory over 20th-seeded Nadia Petrova late Tuesday.
It was the
first win in the main draw of a grand slam of the 23- year-old Glushko’s career.
It was an especially tough performance, considering it came against a highly
heralded opponent and also after three rounds of qualifying last
Petrova entered the tournament having not played since Wimbledon
due to injury and the 128th-ranked Glushko was able to exploit some of the
Russian’s rust to pull it out.
In the most telling stat, Glushko managed
to break Petrova three times, while only being broken once in a match which took
just one hour, 12 minutes.
In the second round, Glushko will face the
winner of the firstround contest between Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and
American Sachia Vickery.
Sela’s match, which took three hours and 59
minutes to complete, featured wild swings of momentum, but ultimately ended in
Sela – currently ranked 77th in the word – winning for the first time in the
main draw of a grand slam in two years.
More than the physical toll the
marathon match took on Sela, the 28-year-old Israeli displayed an iron will and
strong mental fortitude after giving up a two set to none lead against
Kuznetsov, ranked No. 129.
With the tide seemingly having turned in favor
of the Russian, Sela maintained his composure held on. The final set featured
seven combined breaks of serve, with Sela gaining the crucial advantage, 4-3, to
propel him to victory.
Sela – who matched his best result at the US Open
with the second-round showing – made just seven unforced errors over the course
of the match (Kuznetsov made only eight), but also hit only two winners (to
Still, the Israeli took the totalpoints tally 187-183
and ultimately earned what matters most, namely at least one more match in the
Up next for Sela is a much stiffer test, in the form of
18thseeded Serb Janko Tipsarevic, who advanced after his firstround foe,
Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas, retired with Tipsarevic leading 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3.
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