Israel’s Dudi Sela began the new season with an impressive straight sets victory over Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko at the Chennai Open in India. Sela, 73 in the ATP rankings, beat Lacko, ranked 81, 6-4, 6-2.
But there were disappointing performances from Israel’s top two female stars. Shahar Peer (77) was thrashed 0-6, 3-6 by local favourite Jie Zheng (53) in the first qualifying round of the Shenzhen Open in China.
Julia Glushko (91) was surprised by 17 year-old Australian Ashleigh Barty (190) in the second qualifying round of the Brisbane international in Australia, losing 3-6, 2-6. In the first round, Glushko had beaten
Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva (109).
In the New Caledonia Challenger, Amir Weintraub (189) lost in the first round to Denis Kudla of the US 1-6, 5-7. Weintraub now goes to Melbourne where he will participate in next week’s Australian Open qualifiers.
Sela, Peer and Glushko all qualify for the main draw of the season’s first grand slam tournament, which begins on January 13.