Tennis: Dudi Sela qualifies for Australian Open

Beats Nicolas Tourte of France 6-3, 6-1, in the third round of the qualifiers in Melbourne.

dudi sela 88 (photo credit: )
dudi sela 88
(photo credit: )
Dudi Sela qualified for the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament for the second time in his career on Saturday morning, defeating Nicolas Tourte of France 6-3, 6-1, in the third round of the Australian Open qualifiers in Melbourne. Sela, who is ranked 202nd in the world, will play Paradorn Srichaphan (54) of Thailand in the first round of the tournament and will need to record the biggest win of his career if he's to advance to the second round. The last time Sela qualified for a major was in 2005 when he lost to Roger Federer in the first round of the French Open. Sela is the only Israeli in the men's draw but three Israeli women will take part in the tournament that begins on Monday morning. Anna Smashnova (63) will precede Sela on court two on Monday when she faces a tough first round match against Tatiana Golovin (23) of France. Shahar Pe'er (17) will be the first Israeli to hit a ball in the tournament, playing Italian Romina Oprandi (54) in the first match on court 19. Tzipi Obziler (121) will play her first round match later on in the week against Russian Vera Zvonareva (24).