Dudi Sela brings taste of Israel to Delray Beach

[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 Russell match.

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