I will show you all I can cut it on grass, says Sela

By Simon Griver, June 16, 2011
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Wild card Dudi Sela is looking to repay the faith of Wimbledon organisers with a good run at the All England Tennis Club, starting on Monday.

An excellent run of form has seen the Israeli register 15 consecutive victories, culminating in the Nottingham Challenger last weekend - his third successive win on the challenger circuit.

A three-set win Jeremy Chardy of France continued a dramatic turnaround in form which has seen him rise from 146 to 81 in the ATP rankings.

"I had been told at the start of last week that I was in the running for a wild card because of my recent challenger form and my previous good record at Wimbledon," Sela said. "In Nottingham, just as I was preparing for the qualifiers, the wild card was confirmed."

Sela bowed out in the first round at Wimbledon last year but he looking to repeat his 2009 performance when he reached the fourth round and a career high ranking of 29.

"Grass is my favourite surface and I badly want to do well to prove that I deserved the wild card," said Sela. "I've been playing well in recent weeks but with all due respect to challenger tournaments, I need to prove myself in the major competitions."

Harel Levy, Sela's coach, said: "Dudi is coming to Wimbledon brimming with confidence but he won't be resting on his laurels. He was very tired after Nottingham so not having to play in the qualifiers has been a major boost."

After a disastrous first four months in 2011, Sela's immediate target is to return to the world's top 50 and meet the Israel Olympic Committee's criteria for qualifying for next year's Olympic Games.

In contrast, Shahar Peer will be looking to stop her freefall at Wimbledon. The worst crisis of her career became even more acute on Monday after she tumbled out in the first round at Eastbourne. She suffered her third consecutive first-round defeat against a player outside the top 50, going down 7-5, 6-3 against Spain's Jose Martinez Maria Sanchez (72).

Ranked 11 in April, Peer has now slipped to 22, although she is seeded 23 at Wimbledon, and her new coach Harold Solomon is with her in England to try and stop the rot.

Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich will be looking to rekindle former glories in the men's doubles.

Amir Weintraub fell at the first hurdle in the qualifying tournament at Roehampton on Monday.

Weintraub, ranked 223 in the world, was beaten 7-6, 6-3 by Italian Simone Bolelli, ranked 121.

It was the 10th defeat in 38 singles matches this year for 24-year-old Weintraub. Julia Glushko (203) bowed out at the same stage in the ladies event. She went down 6-1, 6-4 to Vitalia Diatchenko (170) of Russia.

Doubles specialist Scott Lipsky will again team up with Australian Casey Dellacqua whom he recently clinched the French Open mixed doubles title with.

    Last updated: 2:24pm, June 16 2011