Sela beats Bellucci to reach final of Challenger Finals

Israeli tennis star will face the winner of the semifinal between Germans Andreas Beck and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe.

November 19, 2011 23:08
1 minute read.
Dudi Sela

Dudi Sela 311. (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)


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After a largely disappointing 2011, Dudi Sela will be looking to end the year on a high on Sunday when he plays in the final of the ATP Challenger Tour Finals in Sao Paulo.

Sela, ranked number 95 in the world, advanced to the final of the inaugural championships for players on the Challenger Tour with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over local favorite Thomaz Bellucci (37), who received a wild-card to the event, which includes the top performers of the year in the secondary tennis tour.

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After a break each in the first eight games, Sela clinched the first set on Bellucci’s serve in the 10th game, with the Brazilian hitting two double faults.

Both players held serve in the first nine games of the second set, but the 26-year-old Israeli struck at the perfect time once more, securing his progress to the final with a break in the 10th game after an impressive showing.

Sela, who failed to win consecutive matches in a main Tour tournament all season, will face the winner of the semifinal between Germans Andreas Beck (102) and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (100), which ended late Saturday night.

After receiving an invitation to Sao Paulo mainly thanks to the consecutive titles he claimed in May and June in Busan, South Korea, Fergana, Uzbekistan and Nottingham, England, Sela advanced to the semis on Friday by beating Matthias Bachinger 6-2, 6-2 to finish second in the Yellow Group with a 2-1 record.

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