Sela squanders chances in first-round loss to Youzhny

The 25-year-old Israeli, currently ranked No. 65 in the world, reached the last 16 at the All England Club last year, but struggled at Wimbledon.

June 23, 2010 06:35
2 minute read.
Dudi Sela tries in vain to return a forehand to Ru

dudi sela 311. (photo credit: AP)

Dudi Sela could drop out of the world’s top-100 after falling to a disappointing 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (2) defeat to Mikhail Youzhny in the first round at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Israeli, currently ranked No. 65 in the world, reached the last 16 at the All England Club last year, but struggled for much of Tuesday’s encounter and never really gave himself a chance of winning against an under-performing Youzhny, seeded No. 13 at SW19.

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As a result, Sela will lose the precious ranking points he picked up after reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon last year and is expected to plummet to his lowest spot in over a year when the new rankings come out in two weeks.

Despite playing well in recent weeks, Sela never really got going against the Russian and was left to rue a missed opportunity.

“This is an annoying defeat,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “I like the grass and I play well on the grass, but he played better than me today. I didn’t take advantage of my chances, especially in the fourth set, and it’s a shame.”

After a very poor first hour, Sela began to find his range late in the second set, only to be broken in the ninth game and fall two sets behind soon after.

The match seemed to be all but over after Sela was broken again in the first game of the
third set, but the Israeli broke right back and took another Youzhny service game to clinch the third set.

Sela was broken in the first game of the fourth set as well, but he continued to fight and reached two set points in the ninth game. Youzhny would, however, come up with the goods when he needed it most and forced a tiebreaker, which he dominated on his way to the second round.

“I lacked consistency throughout the match,” Sela said. “I didn’t play well at all in the first two sets. I played better as the match progressed, but not as well as I have been playing in the last two weeks. He played so-so, but better than me.”

Despite the defeat, Sela remained positive.

“I played really good tennis in the last two weeks and despite today’s loss I feel good overall,” he said. “I know I will drop a little in the rankings, but it’s okay because I’m playing well at the moment.”

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