Tennis: Big names cruise at national championships

Pe’er, Glushko advance to women’s semis; Sela, Weintraub on course for men’s finals.

Israel's Dudi Sela 370 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Israel's Dudi Sela 370
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Shahar Pe’er continued her build-up for 2013 with a pleasant morning workout at the Israel national championships in Ramat Hasharon on Tuesday, winning her second match of the day to advance to the semifinals a mere three hours and 37 minutes after starting her first.
Pe’er, currently ranked at No. 74 in the world, began her match against Valeria Nikolaev at 10:09 a.m., completing a 6-3, 6-0 win after one hour and two minutes before coming back to court for her second match of the day less than two hours later.
The Israel No. 1, who is looking to regain the national title after being stunned by Julia Glushko in last year’s final, took just 47 minutes to thrash Lee Or 6-1, 6-0 in the quarters, clinching the win at 13:46 p.m. before taking a run later in the afternoon to cap a day of training.
“The first match was good because it helped me find my rhythm and I hope to continue and improve from here,” Pe’er said. “I went through a bad patch in the last year-and- a-half and I’m trying to break out of it. I feel better with myself now. Things are changing, but it will take time. “I need to be very patient and I’m very excited ahead of the new season.”
Pe’er will face Deniz Khazaniuk (555) in the semis on Wednesday after the latter beat Avital Vaysbuch 6-1, 6-1.
Defending-champion Glushko (176) advanced to the semis on Tuesday with a 6- 4, 6-2 win over Saray Sterenbach and will next play Keren Shlomo (471), who crushed Valeria Patiuk 6-1, 6-0.
Dudi Sela and Amir Weintraub remained on course for a fourth consecutive meeting in the final on Tuesday.
Sela (109) beat Eyal Cohen 6-0, 6-1 to set up a clash in Wednesday’s quarterfinals against 17-year-old Or Ram- Harel, who defeated Ben Fatael 0-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Weintraub will come up against Igor Smilansky in the last eight after defeating Noam Mazor 6-0, 6-0 in just 38 minutes.
“It felt good playing again after a month-and-a-half ,” Sela said. “I’ve changed my type of racket for the first time after 17 years. It should give me a lot more power, but I need to get used to it as quickly as possible. It is always fun to play in the Israel championships. I wait for this every year.”
The men’s and women’s finals are scheduled for Friday, although the Israel Tennis Association looks set to bring them forward to Thursday due to the stormy weather expected over the weekend.