Dudi Sela expressed his disappointment at crashing out of Wimbledon, though could at least joke it meant he wouldn’t have to miss his wedding next week.
Sela was the third and final Israeli singles player to lose at SW19 on Tuesday afternoon after he was comprehensively beaten in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 by Mikhail Kukushkin.
Bitterly disappointed by the result, but admitting he didn’t deserve anything more, he said: “I think it was quite comprehensive, I didn’t play well. I was very tight and played short at the beginning. He wasn’t missing, but also wasn’t not doing much. But I did a lot of mistakes at the important moments. I did a bad scheduling with the clay court season over the past few weeks, and I didn’t have a lot of confidence coming into the grass court season. Normally, I would play on the hard court more and will learn from it, and hopefully it will be better.
“I’m disappointed, especially because I felt I had a good draw, playing another non-seeded player in the second round, I’ve beaten him before so it was definitely a missed opportunity.”
However, not entirely downbeat, he revealed how every cloud has a silver lining – as his early defeat meant there was no way he’s going to miss his wedding next Tuesday. “She would have killed me if I was in the quarter-finals, but it would have been a good excuse not to go to the wedding!”
After his marriage, he’ll be taking part in some hard court tournaments in Newport in the States, and was also forthright about his views on the future on Israeli tennis.
He said: “Right now I don’t think we are doing very good. We don’t have any juniors coming up, not girls or boys, we have one kid but he doesn’t belong to the tennis centre or federation, but is doing his own thing, he has an English sponsor who helps him, but except for him it looks not great and the system is tough. You need good coaches, and it’s not the best situation for tennis in Israel. There are a lot of people playing tennis, you won’t find a spare court but in terms of a profession and in terms of the next generation coming through, I don’t see anybody really good coming through.”