Dudi Sela (right) and Deniz Khazaniuk (left) hold their trophies after claiming their respective Israel national tennis championship titles..
(photo credit: ALEX GOLDENSTEIN/ISRAEL TENNIS ASSOCIATION)
Dudi Sela and Deniz Khazaniuk will be the favorites to defend their Israel national championship titles on Friday after cruising into the finals in Ra’anana.
Sela, ranked No. 67 in the world, easily overcame Ben Patael (594) 6-1, 6-1 in the semis on Thursday and will face first-time finalist Igor Smilansky (470), who surprised Edan Leshem (249) 6-3, 6-4. Sela is targeting his fifth straight title and eighth overall.
Smilansky claimed the doubles title with Daniel Cukierman on Thursday, registering a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Leshem and Yasha Zemel.
Khazaniuk (264) is targeting her second straight title in the women’s tournament, reaching the final with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Shavit Kimhi.
She faces No. 2 seed Vlada Ekshibarova (412) in the final after the latter beat Maya Tahan 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Ekshibarova and Tahan teamed up to win the women’s doubles with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Shuan Lutzki and Nicole Nedal.