US Open Tennis: Sela bows out of Open at 1st hurdle

Israel number 1 to enter Davis Cup semi in atrocious form after fifth straight loss.

dudi sela wimbledon 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
dudi sela wimbledon 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
As if beating Spain on the road later this month wasn't going to be difficult enough, Israel's number 1 Dudi Sela will be entering the Davis Cup semifinals in Murcia on the back of a five-match losing streak following his defeat in the first round of the US Open. Sela, who is ranked No. 35 in the world, struggled against the inferiorly ranked Kevin Kim (100), and for the first time this year failed to progress past the first round of a Grand Slam tournament, losing 6-3, 0-6, 6-2, 6-2 on Tuesday. The 24-year-old Israeli began the match well, taking a 2-0 lead, but would lose six of the next seven games, and despite tying the match with a 6-0 21-minute set, was dominated by Kim in the third and fourth sets and the American progressed to the second round in New York for the first time in his career. Sela is also playing in the doubles tournament at Flushing Meadows, but assuming he doesn't do unexpectedly well in it, he will return to Israel next week and begin his preparations for the national team's tie in Spain, which will be played over the weekend of September 18-20, a little earlier than he had hoped to. Andy Ram will be aiming to join his Israel teammate in training as late as possible after getting his US Open campaign off to a successful start on Wednesday. Ram and Max Mirnyi, who are seeded No. 5, defeated Eric Butorac and Scott Lipsky 6-3, 6-1 and will next face the winners of the match between Dusan Vernic and Mischa Zverev and Americans Brendan Evans and Alex Kuznetsov. Yoni Erlich, who will team-up with Ram in the Davis Cup, was knocked out in the first round of the doubles tournament in New York. Erlich and Jeff Coetzee lost to Bruno Soares and Kevin Ullyett 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Shahar Pe'er, who will face Carla Suarez Navarro in the second round of the singles event, advanced in the doubles tournament as well on Wednesday. Pe'er and Gisela Dulko beat Petra Kvitova and Olga Savchuk 6-4, 6-4 and will now play the winners of the match between Ekaterina Dzehalevich and Renata Voracova and No. 14 seeds Sania Mirza and Francesca Schiavone. Also Wednesday two-time Grand Slam tournament winner Amelie Mauresmo was ousted from the US Open, losing 6-4, 6-0 to Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada in the second round. The 17th-seeded Mauresmo made 31 unforced errors and hit only nine winners. The 2006 Wimbledon and Australian Open champion from France joined Ana Ivanovic as the second Grand Slam tournament winner to be eliminated in the first week. Wozniak is a Canadian making her third appearance at the US Open. She will next play 10th-seeded Flavia Pennetta, who beat Sania Mirza 6-0, 6-0.