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Dudi Sela 390 R.(Photo by: REUTERS)
Tennis: Sela smeared; Pe’er in Sydney
World No. 37 Sabine Lisicki, will have to win three matches just to reach the main draw.
Dudi Sela suffered one of the more emphatic defeats of his career on Thursday, losing 6-1, 6-0 to France’s Benoit Paire in a mere 40 minutes in the second round of the Chennai Open in India.

In their only previous meeting exactly one year ago, Sela, ranked No. 109 in the world, defeated Paire (47) to advance to the quarterfinals in Chennai.

However, the 27-year-old Israeli was blown off the court on Thursday, winning just 21 percent (6 of 29) of the points on Paire’s first serve and only 25% (3 of 12) of the points on his second serve.

Sela will now turn his attention to the start of the Australian Open qualifiers next week after failing to grab an automatic spot in the main draw of the year’s first Grand Slam tournament, which gets underway on January 14.

Shahar Pe’er (74) returns to the court in Sydney on Friday, just four days after being thrashed 6-1, 6-3 by world No. 131 Elina Svitolina in her first match of the new season in the opening round of Shenzhen Open in China, .

Pe’er, who cut her 2012 season short at the end of August after electing to sit out the final two months of her campaign due to a left-leg injury, will be hoping for a better showing when she faces Greta Arn (114) in the first round of the Sydney International qualifiers.

Pe’er hasn’t had to qualify for a tournament since October 2009, but her lowly ranking combined with a strong lineup in Sydney means that she, as well as the likes of world No. 37 Sabine Lisicki, will have to win three matches just to reach the main draw.
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