Pe'er and Sela both advance to 2nd round at Wimbledon

Sela beats Mexican qualifier Santiago Gonzalez 3-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4; Pe'er defeats Italian Maria Elena Camerin 6-2, 7-6.

peer takes shot 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
peer takes shot 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
It was a perfect opening day for the Israelis at Wimbledon on Monday. Dudi Sela and Shahar Pe'er advanced to the second round at the All England Club, both recording convincing victories. Hours after climbing to a career-best number 46 in the world, Sela won his first ever match at Wimbledon, defeating qualifier Santiago Gonzalez (228) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 in two hours and 35 minutes. Sela, who lost his debut at Wimbledon last year, will next face No. 18 seed, Rainer Schuettler of Germany, who beat Xavier Malisse 6-7 (9), 6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-1. "I didn't play very well, but as the match went on I got better and better," Sela told The Jerusalem Post. "I'm happy to be in the second round. I'm happy that this is the first time I've got this far at Wimbledon." In her first match in over a month, Pe'er (55) dug deep to record a 6-2, 7-6 (3) victory over Maria Elena Camerin (92). The 22-year-old Israeli showed no lasting effects from the stress fracture she suffered in her right foot in the middle of May, but will have to play better in the second round against far tougher opposition. Pe'er next faces world No. 10 Nadia Petrova, who thrashed Anastasiya Yakimova 6-1, 6-1 in the first round, and who has beaten the Israeli in all three of their career meetings. "I had some ups and downs but I'm just really happy that I won," Pe'er told the Post. "This was my first match on grass. I feel better and better. My foot is good which I'm really happy about and everyday I'm feeling more comfortable. "Ideally I would have liked more preparation on grass, but I'm comfortable with the surface." Sela began his match well, breaking in the third game and eventually taking the first set 6-4. Gonzalez tied the match with a break in the 10th game of the second set, but Sela dominated the third set tiebreaker to take a crucial lead, before closing out the match with a strong fourth set. Pe'er was clearly rusty at the beginning of her match, dropping the first two games. However, the Israeli would go on to reel off the next six games, winning the first set 6-2. Camerin seemed to have the second set all but won, opening a 5-1 and 30-0 lead on her serve. Pe'er's fighting qualities would shine through once more, however, and she went on to force a tiebreak which she would win with an excellent forehand winner. "I had a slow start, the first games were a bit tricky, but I hadn't played for six weeks," Pe'er said. "Slowly I played better and better. I played well in the first but then fell asleep in the second, but from 5-1 down, I think I really played better again."