Dudi Sela 298.88.
(photo credit: AP)
Dudi Sela advanced to the second round of a Grand Slam tournament for the second time in his career on Tuesday night, defeating Ecuadorian Nicolas Lapentti 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 in the first round of the US Open.
The Israeli, who is currently ranked at a career best No. 118 in the world, has been in the form of his life in recent months and is slowly yet surely closing in on the world's top 100.
Sela lost to Roger Federer at the French Open in his Grand Slam debut in 2005 and reached the second round of the Australian Open earlier this year after defeating Paradorn Srichaphan.
Next up for the 22-year-old is number 23 seed Juan Monaco, who defeated Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 in the first round on Tuesday.
"Monaco is the best possible opponent I could have received in the second round," Sela told Sport 5. "I hope to maintain my current form in the next round."
Lapentti (80) raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set and held his serves to open up a 5-2 advantage. Sela broke the Ecuadorian for the first time in the ninth game.
But despite tying the score (5-5) Sela was broken for a second time in the 12th game and lost the set.
After splitting the first four games of the second set, Sela claimed a break in the fifth game and reeled off the next three to tie the match.
Sela, who had to go through three qualifying rounds to reach the first round, continued to dominate his opponent in the third set, breaking Lapentti in the third game and eventually running away with the set.
The Ecuadorian seemed to regain his lost form in the fourth set after breaking Sela in the third game and opening a 3-1 lead. Sela, however, claimed the last five games of the set and booked his place in the next round.
Shahar Pe'er opened her US Open account later on Tuesday against American Meilen Tu.