Dudi Sela began his preparations for Wimbledon by winning the ATP Aegon Challenger Nottingham Open on Sunday afternoon.
Going into the tournament ranked 98 in the world, and facing three qualifying matches to reach the main round at Wimbledon, his win over Thomas Fabbiano saw him climb 17 places in the rankings, which is enough to automatically qualify him for the main round draw.
Sunday’s final on centre court saw a tight first set went with serve, up until Sela’s fifth service game in the tenth game, which saw Fabbiano convert the second of his break points, as he took the first set 6-4 – which was also the Israeli’s first dropped set of the tournament.
The second set saw Sela hold off a break point in his first service game, before he broke Fabbiano in the next game to take a 2-1 lead. However another break of serve straight after, saw Fabbiano level the set at 2-2. Sela had to then save two break points in his next service game to keep the set level at 3-3, before claiming his second break of serve to go 4-3 up. An exchange of serve saw Sela serve out for the set, which he did to force a third and final set decider.
Getting off to the perfect start, breaking Fabbiano’s serve, he then held his own to go 2-0 up and gain the early advantage. Spurning two break points to take an even more commanding lead, the games continued to go with serve as Sela went 3-1 up.
Sela did break again, diving to cushion over a fierce forehand to go 4-1 up, before Fabianno pulled one back himself, before holding to reduce the gap to 4-3. Sela inched closer to winning the match, going 5-3 up, and with Fabbianno serving to stay in the match, Sela broke again to seal victory and his 22nd Challenger title of his career.
Other Israeli interest at Wimbledon, which begins on 2 July, will see Jonathan Erlich competing in the doubles tournament, where he is set to team up with Australian Philipp Oswald. The pair will be taking part in the Challenger men’s doubles event at Ilkney this week. They take on Uruguyan Ariel Behar and Belarussian Aliaksandr Bury in their first round clash later on Monday afternoon.
There will be three Israelis in action at SW19, with Yshai Oliel also due to take part in the Wimbledon junior tournament.