Dudi Sela is back in the world’s top-100 rankings after he secured his 18th title on Sunday by beating John-Patrick Smith in the final of the Odlum Brown VanOpen in West Vancouver
Winning the final, 6-4, 7-5 in 93 minutes, the Israeli became only the fifth player in Challenger history to win four or more titles at the same event. Speaking after the win, he said: “In Israel we practise on a court where the balls are not bouncing high and it’s the same here. I’m not that tall. This one suits me very well. I have many friends and family here. I feel at home. They are pushing me and I don’t want to let them down. I feel like I’m playing in Israel.”
Just three wins behind Japan’s Go Soeda on the all-time Challenger titles list, he said: “Of course I would prefer it to be ATP World Tour titles, but when I’m not playing my best in ATP I go to the Challengers to get my confidence back. It’s good to go back and practise a lot and I think you’re more relaxed in a Challenger and work on some things in your game.
“It’s always nice to win a tournament and win a lot of matches. I didn’t do that for a long time and this is a nice feeling. Every match I played better this week, so I feel really good and I want to play well in the US Open.”