Tennis / U.S. Open

Spent Sela Slumps to Straight-sets Loss

Top Israeli men’s player no match for 18th seed Croat.

Dudi Sela’s run as the U.S. Open came to an anticlimactic end last night, as Israel’s top men’s player was beaten in straight sets by 18th seed Janko Tipsarevic of Croatia (6-4, 6-4, 6-1).

Having already played one five-setter at Flushing Meadows, Israel’s top men’s player was clearly below his best in the two-hour, 12-minute second-round match. Sela’s serve was broken in the very first game and then again in the fifth, and although he managed to get one break back in the sixth game, he had left himself too much to do and was unable to force a tie-breaker.

Sela was broken again in the first game of the second set and when he broke back in the eighth game there was a glimmer of hope for him. Tipsarevic, however, broke back immediately to give himself a 5-4 lead and duly served out to take the second set.

By the time the third set began, Sela was flagging visibly. He was again broken in the first game of the set and although he held serve in the third game, that was to be the last game he would win.

Israel’s sole remaining representative in the single competition, therefore, is Julia Glushko, who was due to play 18-year-old Sachia Vickery of the United States in the early hours of this morning.

In the men’s doubles competition, meanwhile, the first-round match between Israeli duo Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich and the Mexican-American partnership of Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky was postponed yesterday due to a backlog caused by rain earlier in the week.

In other action in New York yesterday, Serena Williams took another emphatic step in defense of her U.S. Open title by crushing Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-0 to reach the third round of the year’s final grand slam.

The top-seeded American took a short while to get accustomed to breezy conditions on Arthur Ashe Stadium court before winning 10 of the last 11 games in a 69-minute rout.

Williams, 31, has dropped just four games in four sets at Flushing Meadows this year, slamming the door on the 77th-ranked Voskoboeva by limiting her to nine points in the second set. The world No. 1 will next meet Voskoboeva’s compatriot Yaroslava Shvedova, a 6-2, 6-3 winner against Patricia Mayr-Achleitner of Austria.

AP