Sela storms into Australian Open third round

January 22, 2009

Dudi Sela has qualified for the last 32 of a Grand Slam event for the first time.

On Thursday morning, he also became the first Israeli male to reach the third round of the Australian Open since Amos Mansdorf in 1994 by defeating Victor Hanescu in straight sets.

Having beaten 30th seed Rainer Schuettler in the opening round, Sela’s 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 success against the Romanian was even more impressive as he went through the match without dropping serve.

Sela, 23, said: “I played against him twice before and I tried to be more aggressive today. I didn’t try to serve too hard, just hit the corners and get the advantage from the beginning of the point.”

He admitted that his aim had been “to pass the qualifiers and have a good draw. But after I beat Schuettler I had a lot of confidence.”

Next up is the daunting task of facing world number 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who reached last year’s final.

Last updated: 11:53am, January 22 2009