Shahar Pe'er 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Dudi Sela will have to significantly improve his play if he’s to avenge last
year’s defeat to Amir Weintraub when they meet for a third consecutive time in
the final of the Israel tennis championships in Ra’anana on Friday.
claimed his second national championship with a straight sets win over Weintraub
in 2009, but Israel’s No. 1 was stunned by his Davis Cup teammate last year and
surprisingly struggled to even make this year’s final on Thursday.
ranked No. 83 in the world, dropped the first set against the unranked Amit
Inbar, who has played tennis for UCLA in recent years, but came back to record a
3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory to progress to yet another final.
“I think Amit
played well throughout the match and I was asleep,” Sela said.
many ups and downs and didn’t play well at all.
“Obviously, I want to
regain the national championship, but the most important thing is that I will be
ready for the Australian Open. Clearly, a win in the final will boost my
confidence and I will give my all to beat Amir.”
Weintraub (206) cruised
into the final with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Gilad Ben-Zvi (811) and is confident of
taking a second straight title despite not feeling well in recent
“I’m happy I managed to come through this week as I have been
feeling under the weather,” Weintraub said.
“Last year’s win over Sela
was a turning point in my career and I expect another good match on Friday. We
both really want to win.”
Before Sela and Weintraub take the court in
Ra’anana, Julia Glushko will look to finally get the better of Shahar Pe’er in
the women’s final.
Pe’er has won seven national titles, including the
last five, defeating Glushko in each of the past two finals.
claimed an easy 6-1, 6-1 win over Ofri Lankri (630) to reach yet another final
on Thursday, while Glushko (206) beat Fed Cup teammate Keren Shlomo (444) 6-4,
“Sadly, I didn’t really have much to do. Ofri can play a lot
better and I guess she was a little excited,” Pe’er said.
on my play and on winning my matches as quickly as possible.”
taking just three games against Pe’er in the 2009 final, Glushko pushed Israel’s
No. 1 to a third set last year and believes she can finally defeat her friend on
”I was surprised by Keren’s play. She has improved a lot
recently,” Glushko said.
“Both I and Shahar have improved since we met
last year so anything can happen on Friday.”