Israeli advances at Australian Open


MELBOURNE, Australia (JTA) — Israel’s Dudi Sela advanced to the third round of the Australian Open.

The unseeded Sela, 23, defeated Romania’s Victor Hanescu, also unseeded, in straight sets in the second round Thursday to reach the top 32 of a Grand Slam event for the first time. On Saturday he faces last year’s runner-up, fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.

The last Israeli singles player to reach the round of 32 was Amos Mansdorf in 1994.

Sela, who is ranked 106th in the world, knocked out the No. 30 seed, Germany’s Rainer Schuettler, in four sets in the first round Tuesday. Sela had to win three pre-tournament qualifying matches last week to enter the main draw.

Israel’s Andy Ram began defense of the doubles title he won at the Australian Open last year with countryman Yoni Erlich with a victory on Wednesday. Ram and partner Max Mirnyi of Belarus, the No. 9 seeds, to defeat the unseeded Australian pair of Peter Luczak and Greg Jones in three sets. Erlich is out of the tournament due to injury.

Ram and Mirnyi play their second-round match Friday.


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