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DUDI SELA CROUCHING 224.88.(Photo by: AP [file])
Tennis: Sela sneaks into Australian Open
Allon Sinai
01/18/2009
The 23-year-old, who is ranked number 106 in the world, trailed 5-3 and 40-0 in the third set, but saved all three of the match points.
Dudi Sela advanced to the main draw of the Australian Open in dramatic fashion on Saturday, saving six match points on his way to a 6-0, 2-6, 8-6 victory over Slovenian Grega Zemlja. The 23-year-old, who is ranked number 106 in the world, trailed 5-3 and 40-0 in the third set, but saved all three of the match points. And after saving two more decisive points in the 10th and 11th games, Sela clinched the victory on his serve. Sela, who came through three qualifying rounds to reach the first round proper in Melbourne, will be playing in his sixth-straight Grand Slam main draw and third consecutive Australian Open. Next up for Sela is German Rainer Schuettler (31 in the world), who the Israeli defeated in the semifinals of the Beijing tournament last year - their one and only career meeting to date. Meanwhile, Tzipi Obziler was knocked out in the second qualifying round of the women's tournament on Friday, losing 7-6 (7), 6-4 to Poland's Urszula Radwanska. Shahar Pe'er faces a very tough first round match on Monday, after being drawn to face her doubles partner, world No. 12 Caroline Wozniacki.
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