Dudi Sela turned in a convincing performance on Monday morning as he booked his place in the second round of the Australian Open.
Up against Spaniard Marcel Granollers, the 31-year-old, currently ranked 86 in the world, lost the first set 7-5, but then produced a virtuoso performance, taking the next three sets, 6-3, 6-2, 6-0. He next takes on Slovakian Lukas Lacko as he looks to reach the third round of the tournament for the fourth time – and third consecutive year.
In what was a good first day for the Israeli and Jewish players in Melbourne, Argentine Diego Schwartzman easily – and somewhat surprisingly – beat the world number 22, Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas, 6-3, 6-3, 6-0. He next takes on either Belgian Steve Darcis.
American Noah Rubin, who won the Wimbledon junior title in 2014, defeated his compatriot Bjorn Fratangelo in five sets. Like Sela, he lost the first set on a tiebreak, but levelled the match by winning the second set 7-5. He then lost the third 6-3, before winning the fourth and deciding fifth, 6-2. He next faces Swiss star Roger Federer.
Tuesday’s action sees Italian Camila Giorgi begin her women’s singles campaign, when she takes on the number 12 seed, Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky.
Later in the week, Jonathan Erlich, teaming up with Jewish American Scott Lipsky, will begin their men’s doubles campaign, when they take on Russian duo Karen Khachanov and Andrey Kuznetsov.