Okun stumbles in final qualifying round

He came up short by one break in the first and third sets and lost the tiebreaker in the second for a 7-5, 7-6(2), 6-4 scoreline.

By FRANKIE SACHS
June 23, 2006 07:07
1 minute read.
Okun stumbles in final qualifying round

okun 88. (photo credit: )

Noam Okun fell short at the final step of his bid to reach the main draw at Wimbledon, losing Thursday to Canada's Frank Dancevic in straight sets in the third and final qualifying round. His defeat leaves doubles players Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich as the only Israeli men to play in the main draw this year. The women will be represented by No. 21 seed Shahar Pe'er and Anna Smashnova. The draw for the grass-court Grand Slam, which begins next week, will take place on Friday afternoon. Okun, who had previously reached the main draw at the All-England Club in 2002 and 2005, did not go down without a fight. However he came up short by one break in the first and third sets and lost the tiebreaker in the second for a 7-5, 7-6(2), 6-4 scoreline. The match was played in the best-of-five sets format, as are the main draw matches. The first two qualifying rounds were best of three. Israel's doubles representatives will arrive at Wimbledon in solid form. Ram and Erlich closed within two wins of a title defense at the Red Letter Days Open in Nottingham, England, by defeating Frenchmen Richard Gasquet and Nicolas Mahut 6-0, 6-3 on Thursday. The top seeds will take on Americans Paul Goldstein and Jim Thomas in Friday's semifinals. Pe'er teamed with France's Marion Bartoli to stun the No. 2 seeds, Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova and Ai Sugiyama of Japan, 6-4, 7-6(5) at the Hastings Direct International Championships in Eastbourne, England. Pe'er and Bartoli will meet 2005 Wimbledon doubles finalists and singles stars Amelie Mauresmo of France and Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semis.


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