Spurned Sela threatens cup boycott

August 8, 2008

Tennis Dudi Sela, Israel's leading player, looks set to boycott his country's upcoming Davis Cup tie against Peru after his ongoing row with the national tennis federation reached boiling point.

As the JC has reported, Sela slammed Israel's Olympic Committee and the Israel Tennis Association for not selecting him for the Beijing games.

Now he is threatening to quit the national team.

"It maddens me that I am not taking part in the Olympics," Sela told Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper. "Everyone ranked in the top 100 will be there except for me.

"In the past, some players ranked in the bottom 100 have even taken gold medals. But for Israel, being ranked in the top 100 is not enough.

"Not since the days of Amos Mansdorf has Israel been in the top tier of the Davis Cup and I carried us there," Sela went on.

"After such an achievement they still don't appreciate me enough to send me to the Olympics. This has sapped my motivation to play in the next Davis Cup."

IOC official Gili Lustig hit back at Sela's claims, saying: "He's an excellent tennis player who represented Israel outstandingly in the Davis Cup and can, without a doubt, represent Israel with honour in the Olympics.

"But winning a medal is easier said than done. The Olympics are fundamentally different from the Davis Cup.

"We threw him a lifeline at Wimbledon and he didn't take it. He lost in the first rounds in a number of tournaments and the only person whose actions determine whether he is going to Beijing or not is Sela himself. He didn't even come close to making the cut."

Meanwhile Sela rose 14 places to 76 in the ATP tour rankings after winning the Vancouver Challenger last week.

Last updated: 2:26pm, August 7 2008