|Tennis player Dudi Sela 370.(Photo by: Asaf Kliger)|
Sela, Weintraub progress in Melbourne
By ALLON SINAI
Israeli tennis players advance to second round of Australian Open qualifiers.
Dudi Sela and Amir Weintraub safely navigated the first round of the
Australian Open qualifiers on Wednesday, closing to within two victories
of a place in the main draw of the year's first Grand Slam tournament.
ranked No. 114 in the world and seeded No. 3 in the qualifying
tournament in Melbourne, advanced to the second round after just 42
minutes, with opponent Sergio Gutierrez-Ferrol (178) retiring when
trailing 6-1, 4-1.
Sela will play Igor Kunitsyn (162) for a place in the third and final round of the qualifiers on Thursday.
Sela, Weintraub (196) was made to sweat for two hours and 46 minutes by
Wayne Odesnik (145) before progressing to the next round with a 7-6
(4), 4-6, 6-3 victory.
Weintraub, who is hoping to reach the main
draw of a Grand Slam event for the first time in his career, will face Radu
Albot (220) in the second round on Thursday.
Also Thursday, Israel's Julia Glushko (177) will play Mariana Dugue-Marino (144) in the first round of the women's qualifiers.
top seed John Isner was knocked out of the Sydney International by
compatriot Ryan Harrison on Wednesday but at least he got out on court
on a day when injury withdrawals continued to ravage Australian Open
Second seed Gilles Simon earlier pulled out
before his last 16 match in Sydney with a neck injury, while Kei
Nishikori and world number nine Janko Tipsarevic became the second and
third players to quit the eight-man field at the Kooyong Classic.
number 13 Isner was hampered by the bone bruise to his right leg that
ended his participation in the Hopman Cup last week and the 6-4, 6-4
defeat to Harrison left him thinking about pulling out of the Australian
"It's better. Definitely better than I thought, but it's
not 100 percent," he told reporters. "I don't know. I got a decision to
"Certainly I could win a match maybe, a match or
two. I don't see myself winning the whole tournament at this point,
that's for sure."
Simon's withdrawal followed those of
compatriots Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet, who pulled out
because of a hamstring injury and for "personal reasons" respectively.
week before the slams, players don't want to take any risks, which is
normal but sad also for this one because Sydney is a very nice
tournament and deserves to have a very nice draw," 2011 Sydney champion
"We just try the maximum to be ready... I mean, for
me today, there is no point in me going out and losing 6-2, 6-2 playing
Reuters contributed to this report