Israeli tennis star Dudi Sela. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Julia Glushko and Dudi Sela defended their Israel national tennis championship titles on Friday, claiming comfortable wins in a gloomy Ra’anana.
While it was no surprise that world No. 99 Sela beat 17-year-old Edan Leshem (1,221) 6-1, 6-2 with ease, Glushko (154) was expected to encounter a little more trouble against Shahar Pe’er (117).
However, she breezed to her third title in the past four years, claiming a 6-1, 6-3 victory.
Glushko dominated from the start, racing to a 3-0 lead before rain stopped play for 30 minutes. The break did little to help Pe’er, with Glushko quickly wrapping up the first set and not looking back after breaking serve in the seventh game of the second set.
“I had a crazy week and this is a great way to finish it,” said Glushko.
“I worked really hard in the past four weeks and it showed on court.”
Sela already broke in the second game of the men’s final, but Leshem gave himself some hope by breaking back in the subsequent game.
However, nerves took their toll on the teenager and Sela reeled off four straight games to quickly wrap up the first set.
Leshem stayed in touch for the first four games of the second set, but once Sela broke in the fifth game there was no way back for the first-time finalist.
“I was nervous at the start of the match and Dudi played really well,” said Leshem, who entered the championships in excellent form after claiming three consecutive ITF Junior events in Ra’anana, Haifa and Kiryat Shmona.
Sela had his son in the crowd for the first time and promised his nine-month- old that he will see him win many more local championships in the future.
“I was nervous playing in front of my son for the first time,” said Sela, who claimed his fifth national title. “I practice a lot with Edan and it wasn’t easy for him today. I think he can one day enter the top 100 and I’m sure he will soon be part of the Davis Cup squad.”