Tennis: Sela falls in first round of US Open

Israeli beaten by fifth-ranked Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

sela 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
sela 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Dudi Sela crashed out of the US Open in straight sets yesterday, falling in the first round to fifth-ranked Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. The loss closes out Israel's representatives in singles play at the US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York with two poor performances, following Shahar Pe'er's first-round defeat to Na Li earlier in the week. Sela, ranked 76th in the world, took the first game, but then the more-experienced Davydenko took control of the match. With blistering serves of almost 200 km/h, the Russian broke Sela at 4-3 and went on to take the first set handily. The second set began 1-1 but Davydenko rolled off three straight games to make it 4-1 not look back to win 6-3. Down by two sets, Sela played a spirited final set, but Davydenko closed out the match with a pinpoint cross-court shot that painted the sideline. Israel's hopes at the Flushing Meadows Tennis Center now lie in the doubles tournament, with Yoni Erlich and Andy Ram, as the pair are set to face Americans Robert Kendrick and Ryan Sweeting. Shahar Pe'er will be competing in women's doubles with Victoria Azarenka from Belarus and with Paul Hanley from Australia in mixed doubles. Erlich and Ram are coming off a disappointing showing at the Olympic Games in Beijing when they were defeated in the first round of men's doubles play by the French duo of Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra, 6-4, 6-4. Pe'er will look to redeem herself from her losses in Beijing and in the singles draw here in New York as she and partner Victoria Azarenka try to better their runner-up finish at this year's Australian Open and their quarter-final showing at Wimbeldon.