Israel’s Oliel nets prestigious Orange Bowl title

Oleil becomes the first Israeli boy to win the most celebrated junior event in the world.

December 24, 2012 05:34
1 minute read.

YSHAI OLIEL 370. (photo credit: Nike Junior Tour International/Reg Caldecott)

Israeli tennis received some much-needed encouraging news on Sunday when Yshai Oliel claimed the prestigious boys’ under-12 Orange Bowl tournament in Coral Gables, Florida.

Oliel defeated Patrick Sydow of Aruba 6- 3, 6-1 in the final, becoming the first Israeli boy to win the most celebrated junior event in the world, joining former champions of the likes of Jimmy Connors (1964) and Andy Murray (1999).

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“I’m really happy and excited,” said the jubilant Ramle native.

“I still can’t quite comprehend what I’ve achieved. This is just the beginning for me.”

Oliel beat seven of the world’s best players in his age group to lift the title, losing just one set on the way to the trophy.

Oliel will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Shahar Pe’er, who was the only Israeli to win an Orange Bowl event until Sunday, claiming the girls’ under-14 tournament in 2001.

“This is an amazing achievement,” said Pe’er. “I met Yshai a year ago and I’ve heard many good things about him. I hope he has a bright future, although it is tough to know what the future holds for him.

“There are many players who won junior events and went on to take Grand Slams, but it is very difficult. You need a lot of luck and he still has a long way to go.”

Oliel’s coach Jan Puchar deserves as much credit as anyone for Sunday’s triumph.

“I’m very proud of Yshai,” he said. “This is part of a long process we began eight years ago and I’m happy it is all coming to fruition. We hope there are many more achievements to come.”

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