SELA

Sela suffered a third round exit in Melbourne. Picture: AJN/Pete Haskin

Dudi Sela reflected on a “missed opportunity” after he failed to book his place in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Looking to become the first Israeli man to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open since Amos Mansdorf reached the quarter-finals in 1992, Sela was also the last Israeli man to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam when he reached that stage at Wimbledon in 2009.

Having beat Benjamin Becker and conqueror of Rafael Nadal, Fernando Verdasco in the first two rounds, he wasn’t though able to make it three wins from three, as he fell to a disappointing 7-5, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 defeat to Russian Andrey Kuznetsov.

Sela, ranked 87 in the world, said: “I had a good week and it is a shame it has ended, I had an opportunity, but he played better than me. I’m happy I got the season off to a good start and I hope to continue this way. I would like to thank everyone for the support. We have a special country and people who never stop to support you and cheer you on. I really wanted to continue and progress in the tournament for everyone.”

Elsewhere, Yshai Oliel’s junior boy’s campaign is over after he was beaten 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 by China’s Tao Mu in the first round.

In the men’s doubles, American Scott Lipsky and Eric Butorac were beaten 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 by GB’s Dominic Inglot and Sweden’s Robert Lindstedt.