Tennis: Gonzalez takes revenge on Sela in Chile

World No. 10 far too good for Dudi as Israel falls 4-1 in South America.

Sela Chile 311 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Sela Chile 311
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Two-and-a-half years after suffering one of the most disappointing defeats of his career, Fernando Gonzalez finally exacted sweet revenge over Dudi Sela and Israel’s Davis Cup team on Monday afternoon.
Sela beat Gonzalez in an unforgettable five-set thriller at Ramat Hasharon in September 2007, giving Israel a place in the World Group for the first time in 14 years.
However, Gonzalez dominated the Israel number one on Monday on his way to a straightforward 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 win, securing Chile’s victory in Coqiumbo and guaranteeing its place in the quarterfinals of the competition.
“I squandered some good chances, but overall Gonzalez was much better than me,” said Sela, who has now lost four straight Davis Cup matches.
“Unfortunately I didn’t play well enough and lost, but we will learn from this experience. We are all disappointed, but we are focusing on the future.”
In the second match on Monday, which was no more than a dead rubber, Jorge Aguilar beat Harel Levy 7-6 (3), 6-1, completing a 4-1 victory for Chile, which will play the Czech Republic in the last eight.
After losing both singles matches on Saturday, Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich gave Israel some hope entering the final day of action with a win in the doubles encounter.
However, Sela was no competition for the world’s 10th ranked player on the Coquimbo clay, converting just one of seven break points and losing after a mere two hours and one minute.
Israel will now wait until next month to learn which team it will be drawn against in the World Group playoffs to take place in September 17-19.
“Chile is simply too good for us at home on the clay,” Ram said. “It sucks to lose, but we now must turn our attention to remaining in the World Group.”
Gonzalez stamped his authority right from the start of his match against Sela, breaking in the first game after an unforced error by the Israeli.
The Chilean cruised in the remainder of the first set and after breaking once more in the third game of the second set held his serve to love in the 10th game with a thundering forehand winner on his way to a 2-0 lead in the match.
After a good start to the third set, Sela lost his serve in the fourthgame and Gonzo sailed to a win he had been dreaming of for more thantwo years.
“It is important we take the good things from this tie,” Israel captain Eyal Ran said.
“The matches were tight and the players gave their best.
“Thistie will help us when we next play on clay. We will do everything wecan to remain in the World Group and we are hoping for a home drawbecause we miss our fans.”