Sela to carry Israeli Grand Slam hopes once more in Melbourne

Nadal has a heart-breaking injury record at the Australian Open, being forced out of his title defense in 2010 with knee trouble.

By
January 17, 2016 05:04
1 minute read.
Dudi Sela

Dudi Sela. (photo credit: NIR KEIDAR/ISRAEL TENNIS ASSOCIATION)

Dudi Sela will be Israel’s lone representative in the singles tournaments at the Australian Open after Julia Glushko was knocked out in the third and final round of the women’s qualifiers in Melbourne on Saturday.

Glushko, ranked No. 128 in the world, suffered a 6-4, 6-2 defeat to Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand, extending her main draw drought in majors.

Glushko last played in the main draw of a Grand Slam at the 2014 US Open. That was also the last time Sela wasn’t his country’s only representative in a singles event at tennis’s showcase tournaments, with Shahar Pe’er and Amir Weintraub also failing to qualify for a major in 2015 before being knocked out in the qualifiers in Melbourne last week.

Israel will at least have a representative in the men’s doubles in Yoni Erlich.

Sela reached the third round of the Australian Open last year in what was his best Grand Slam performance in more than five years, ultimately losing to Rafael Nadal. The Israeli No. 1 could well face the Spaniard in Melbourne for a second straight year, with the two on a collision course in the second round.

Sela will first need to overcome Benjamin Becker (98) of Germany, while Nadal plays countryman Fernando Verdasco in the first round.

Sela’s hopes of reaching the last 16 of the Australian Open for the first time in his career were dashed by Nadal last year after the 14-time Grand Slam winner claimed a comfortable 6-1, 6-0, 7-5 victory on Rod Laver Arena.

Nadal has a heart-breaking injury record at the Australian Open, being forced out of his title defense in 2010 with knee trouble, being knocked out of a semifinal by a hamstring problem the following year and hobbled by a back injury during his losing final


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