Sela seeks revenge vs Weintraub; Glushko to face Pe’er

After losing to Shahar Pe’er in each of the last two finals, Julia Glushko will be hoping to claim her first Israel championship title.

Shahar Pe'er 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
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.
Sela 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.
Sela, 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.
“I had 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 days.
“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.
Pe’er (37) 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, 7-6 (1).
“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.
“I’m focusing on my play and on winning my matches as quickly as possible.”
After 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 Friday.
”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.”