IT WAS LOOKING so good on Day One at Wimbledon. With less than 30 minutes on the clock, Dudi Sela was 4-0 up in the first set. Twenty minutes later, the first set was wrapped up, and he was a point away from going 2-0 ahead in the second. Then, it all went downhill. Losing the next three sets, Israeli singles interest was over almost as soon as it began. Upset in his post-match interview, he conceded he took his eye off the ball having been so convincing in that first set, and a mixture of complacency, letting an outrageous point call – where he asked the referee if he was blind – get to him, and his opponent getting better all contributed to his early exit. That meant Yoni Erlich was Israel’s last representative at the tournament. And it wasn’t all bad news as hours later, he booked his place in the second round of the men’s doubles competition which led to him saying he believed he could go all the way and win the title.
WHILE IT’S fair to say the Israeli tennis players weren’t exactly covering themselves in glory, the same can’t be said for their sportsmen and women who were in Baku for the first European Games. Coming back with a record medal haul from a major international tournament – that may in part be due to the fact that they took with them their largest ever delegation to a sporting event – 12 medal wins hints at encouraging signs that in the years to come, we could be hearing a lot more playings of the Hatikvah on podiums around the world.
MANNA, THE UK branch of Meir Panim will be playing a charity football match against ex-Tottenham Hotspurs legends on 19 July. The likes of Mark Falco, Darren Anderton, Paul Miller, John Lacy, Tony Galvin and Justin Edinburgh could all feature, with ticket prices at £8 for adults, £5 for U13’s and family tickets available for £20. Profits from the match will go towards alleviating poverty in Israel. Kick-of at Silver Jubilee Park, Townsend Lane, NW9 7NE, is at 3.00pm. Call Laurence on 07977 522 347 for more information.