[February 18, 2014]
While much of the world has been focused on Sochi, Russia this week and the
2014 Winter Olympics, one Russian was focused on small yellow balls in the
spring sunshine of southern Florida. In the first day of play at the Delray
Beach (FL) Open by the Venetian Las Vegas, Russian Alex Bogomolov, Jr. took
on Israel's Dudi Sela.
Sela sailed through the first set, shutting out the Russian 6-0 in just 23
minutes. Bogomolov regrouped to hold serve early in the second set to the
2-2 mark, when Sela once again surged ahead to close out the set and the
match on a cross-court winner at 6-2 in 54 minutes.
In the final game of play Bogomolov served up a double fault to set up match
point for his Israeli opponent.
Sela, noted for his drop shots and net shots, didn't avail himself of either
in any measure, pointing out after the match that his hard-hitting opponent
didn't really open up many opportunities for that, as the match largely
consisted of baseline grinders.
The score didn't really reflect the nature of the match, Sela commented
afterwards. It wasn't as easy a match as the final results would indicate.
Sela is currently ranked #75 on the ATP list while Bogomolov is not much
behind at 88. In previous meetings, Bogomolov holds the edge, having twice
defeated Sela to Sela's lone victory. Today's win ties the record.
Alex is one of my best friends on the tour, Sela said. I have known him for
a long time. This win was definitely a sweet one for me.
The Kiryat Shmonah, Israel native broke into the ATP top 30 at #29 in the
summer of 2009. Sela will face the winner of the John Isner – Michael
Post Script: In a case of the lead getting buried, Sela and
Bogomolov will be playing as doubles partners in Delray Beach.
Dudi Sela at the 2013 U.S. Open