Israeli Dudi Sela is going through qualifying at Wimbledon. The 36-year-old won his first-round match against Briton Stuart Parker.
The Israeli broke in the first set against the 23-year-old. Parker though fought back and broke in the second set leveling up the match. The third set was very close. Sela broke right at the end of the set to take the win. The Israeli plays fifth seed Yasutaka Uchiyama on Wednesday. If he wins, he will need to defeat either Maxime Janvier or Oscar Otte to reach the main draw.
Turning professional in 2004, Sela hit the Futures and Challenger circuits. The Israeli claimed six titles on the Futures circuit in 2005 and 2006 seasons. The foray into the challenger circuit at this early stage was not as successful. Sela lost the first two Challenger finals he made in the same period.
The 2007 season was more successful for the Israeli. Of the five finals Sela made on the Challenger Tour, the Israeli won three. Only one, held in Japan, went the distance. Following on from there the Israeli enjoyed many successful tournaments at this level.
Sela experienced most success on the hard courts. However, the two finals he made on the grass in Britain the Israeli won. Both these finals were in Nottingham. The first was in 2011, where Sela defeated Jérémy Chardy in a thrilling final that went the distance.
The second Nottingham title came in 2017 where the Israeli faced Thomas Fabbiano. Sela was third seed and the Italian fourth. The Israeli had made the final without dropping a set. The Italian got the better start and broke Sela to lead. The Israeli managed to get back into the match and took the remaining two sets to take the title.
The 2018 season was poor compared to the previous ones. Sela did not make any Challenger or Futures finals. His ranking dropped out of the top 100. The Israeli did have slightly better success in the 2019 season. He won the title in Little Rock, and finished runner-up in Cassis, where he lost to Jo-Wilfrid Tsonga in straight sets. Sela only managed to get one game on the board in that final.
Sela has never quite made an impact at Tour level, losing in both ATP 250 finals he reached. However, the Israeli has had a standout career on the Challenger Tour. His 23 career titles at that level are second only to Yen-Hsun Lu (29 titles).
Grand Slam Record
The Israeli has not had very good results at the Majors. Sela made Round 2 of both the US and French Opens a few times. His best performance at Wimbledon was in 2009, where he progressed to the fourth round. However, he has won a combined three matches since then at SW19. By far the most successful Slam for Sela is the Australian Open. The Israeli has progressed to the third round three times, in 2009 and again in 2015 and 2016.
Sela’s best career result came on grass. He reached the quarterfinals at Queen’s Club in 2010, upsetting Andy Roddick in the process.
Sela has struggled with injuries over the last couple of years. As with all athletes the Israeli will want to end on his terms. With the 2020 season interrupted due to Corona Virus any plans made had to change. Wimbledon 2021 could be the last time Sela plays on the circuit. The Israeli could hang up his racquet following his exit.
When Sela does retire, the circuit will have lost an interesting and charming player. The Israeli will have had a great career on the lower tier when the time does arrive.
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