Dudi Sela could almost have been forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief last night, when he and his Austrian partner lost their fourth-set tiebreaker in the first round of the Men's Doubles.
One day before he takes on Tommy Robredo of Spain in the third round of the Singles, Sela and Stefan Koubek were steamrollered in the first two sets (6-2, 6-4) by the French duo of Arnaud Clement and Marc Gicquel. But they bounced backed strongly to take the third (2-6) and when they took a 3-0 lead in the fourth set it would only have natural for Sela to start wondering about the effects on his body of a five-setter less that 24 hours before he takes on the 15th seed in a Grand Slam event.
Sela need not have worried, however, as he and his partner squandered the advantage and allowed the Frenchmen to take the set to a tiebreaker, which they duly won.
Sela's showdown against Robredo will be the third match on Wimbledon's Court No. 3, where play begins at 1 P.M. (Israel time).
Despite being ranked 31 places below Robredo in the ATP rankings, Sela has the psychological advantage of never have lost to the 27-year-old Spaniard. The first time they met was in quarterfinal of the China Open last year, when the Israeli won straight sets. They met again at the Masters Tournament in Miami, where Sela repeated the win.
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