Israelis aim to impress at French Open

By Simon Griver, May 17, 2012

Israel’s top players go into the French Open needing good performances to qualify for the Olympics.

Dudi Sela, ranked 71, must reach the top 55 to meet the criteria set by the Olympic Committee of Israel to play in London. But Sela is lowering expectations. He said: “I’ve been training hard on clay in Israel as I want to do well in Paris because it’s a grand slam tournament.

“For tennis players the Olympics is no big deal but if I get there it will be a bonus.”

Sela’s indifference to the Olympics contrasts with his fury in 2008 when he was omitted from the Israel squad for Beijing because he was ranked 60.

Shahar Peer, however, looks likely to make the Olympic squad. She has slipped to 54 in the WTA rankings but showed some of the spark that took her to 11 in the world rankings last year by beating world number 23 Shuai Peng in the first round of the Italian Open this week.

Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich will probably need to win the French Open to reach the Olympics. They are ranked 45 after winning the Serbian Open earlier this month but need to be in the top 35 to qualify for London.

Last updated: 3:35pm, May 17 2012