I'm cooking on grass

Win gives Sela perfect start for Wimbledon

By Simon Griver, June 19, 2009

Dudi Sela believes that he has a chance to shine at Wimbledon after reaching the quarter-finals of the Ordina Open in Holland.
Already enjoying a career high ranking of 47, the Israeli can expect to start the grand slam in an even higher position when the new rankings are announced on Monday.

Sela, 24, is riding high after reaching only his third quarter-final of an ATP tournament.

Most at home on hard courts, he notched up his first-ever professional victory on grass in Holland, beating Christophe Rochus of Belgium (69) in the first round. That was followed by an even more impressive win over Russia’s Igor Kunitsyn (39).

Keen to improve on his first round exit at SW19 last year, Sela said: “The victories in Holland give me a real lift and prove that I can win on grass and progress at Wimbledon.”

Scheduled to play Markos Baghdatis (95) of Cyprus or veteran Dutchman Raemon Sluiter in the last eight in Holland, Sela had a great chance of reaching what would be only his second ATP semi-finals after reaching the finals of the China Open in Beijing last year.

It is a case of damage limitation for Shahar Peer in the women’s singles. She has not played since the beginning of May after sustaining a stress fracture of the foot.

The injury has healed and she flew to England on Wednesday after deciding that she is match fit for several days training on grass before the tournament begins.

Under the circumstances, it is difficult to see Peer repeating last year’s best performance at Wimbledon when she beat the 9th seed Dinara Safina to reach the fourth round. Peer, 22, has slipped down to 55 in the WTA rankings after reaching a career high of 15 two years ago.
An early exit at Wimbledon could see her drop as low as 70 in the WTA world rankings.

In the doubles, Andy Ram and the Belarus Max Mirnyi have slipped to sixth in the world rankings.

They will be looking for a good run to consolidate their position and ensure a return in London in November for the Masters tournament for the world’s top eight pairings.

Jonathan Erlich will partner Britain’s Jamie Murray, brother of Andy. They reached the second round at Queens last week and were in action in Eastbourne this week.

Harel Levy (219) did not make it through to the Wimbledon main draw despite an impressive victory over Australia’s Chris Guccione (140) in the first round of the qualifiers.

Last updated: 10:15am, June 19 2009