Dudi Sela was knocked out of the Australian Open in the early hours of Monday morning, suffering a five-set defeat against Ryan Harrison.
Israel’s only singles player taking part in the first Grand Slam of the year, Sela, who’s ranked 67th in the world, was taking on his American opponent, who’s 20 places above him.
Losing the first set 6-3, he took control of the match to win the next two sets, 7-5, 6-3, which was played in front of a packed Court 22 where the Israeli also received a vociferous vocal support. Singing his name throughout the match which lasted three hours, 39 minutes, the American was visibly upset by some of the chanting and voiced his concerns with the umpire.
Harrison did though began to take control of the match, and winning the fourth set 7-5, wrapped up the match in more comfortable style, securing the fifth and deciding set 6-2.
There was better news on the first day, when Diego Schwartzman beat Serbian Dusan Lajovic in another five-set thriller to reach the second round of the competition for the first time.
In what was a topsy-turvy encounter, the Argentine, ranked 26 in the world, lost the first set 6-2, before taking the second 6-3. Dusan claimed the third 7-5, before Schwartzman levelled again, winning the fourth 6-4. With no tiebreak played in the final set, Schwartzman eventually prevailed 11-9, in a match which lasted a minute short of four hours. He next faces either Norwegian Casper Ruud or qualifier Frenchman Quentin Halys.
Italian Camila Giorgi begins her women’s singles campaign on Tuesday when she faces Russian Anna Kalinskaya.
Sela is still involved in the men’s doubles competition. Teaming up with ItalianThomas Fabbiano, they take on Belarussian Max Mirnyi and Austrian Philipp Oswald, while elsewhere in the competition, Israel’s other senior player Jonathan Erlich is teaming up with Candian Daniel Nestor, they meet Moldovan Radu Albot and South Korean Hyeon Chung.