Sport news

Sela makes early exit at Australian Open

By Dan Goldberg, January 19, 2010

Israel’s Dudi Sela crashed out of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

Sela, 24, never hit his stride during his four-set defeat by Ukranian Ivan Sergeyev on Court 19 at Melbourne Park, despite the support of about 100 exuberant fans, including Israeli Ambassador Yuval Rotem who travelled from Canberra to see Israel’s top men’s player in action.

Rotem was also hoping to watch Shahar Peer in her first-round match, but bad weather on Monday forced her tie against Czech Lucie Hradecka to be postponed until Wednesday.


Odesnik reaches round two in Melbourne

By Danny Caro, January 18, 2010

Wayne Odesnik reached the second round of the Australian Open after beating Blaz Kavcic in four sets on Monday.

Ranked 89 in the world Odesnik, a naturalised American, came from behind to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 in Melbourne.

The 24-year-old from Johannesburg will meet 27th seed Phillip Kohlschreiber or Harcio Zeballos in round two.


Maccabi GB launch 2010 Sports Awards

By Danny Caro, January 15, 2010

Maccabi GB have started the search to find the community’s top Jewish sportsperson.

In partnership with UJIA, MGB are inviting nominations for people who have had a major achievement or advancement within their chosen sport in the past two years.

The awards offer an opportunity for the community to honour and reward outstanding Jewish athletes dedicated to their sport. These will be the ninth awards to have taken place since they started in 1993.


Peer reaches Hobart final

By Danny Caro, January 15, 2010

Shahar Peer warmed up for next week’s Australian Open grand slam by reached the final of the Hobart International.

Peer, 22, dismantled Sar Errani 6-2, 6-0 in 78 minutes in the semi-finals to reach her seventh WTA final.

The Israeli has started 2010 in excellent form, winning seven out of eight matches.

She will be seeded 29 in the Australian Open and plays Lucie Safarova (65) of the Czech Republic in the first round.

In the men’s singles, Dudi Sela will play one of the qualifiers.


Henk ten Cate for Israel national team

By Simon Griver, January 14, 2010

Henk ten Cate is the latest high profile name to have been approached by the Israel FA to succeed Dror Kashtan as national team manager.

The former Ajax boss, who was Avram Grant’s assistant at Chelsea, was recommended to the Israel FA by the Portsmouth manager.

The Dutchman has told friends that he is seriously considering the Israel job but is not prepared to sign a contract until he has resolved his compensation dispute with Panathinaikos who sacked him in December.


Yossi Benayoun breaks a rib

By Danny Caro, January 14, 2010

Liverpool’s Yossi Benayoun faces four weeks on the sidelines after breaking a rib in Wednesday’s FA Cup defeat against Reading, according to reports.

Benayoun, 29, spurned a golden opportunity to take the tie to penalties when he was thwarted in a one-on-one by Reading keeper Adam Federici in extra time. It is believed that he picked up the injury following a hefty challenge in the last minute.

The injury is the attacking midfielder’s second of the season. In November, Benayoun received the controversial placenta treatment to help cure a hamstring injury.


De Ridder’s move to Hapoel on hold

By Danny Caro, January 14, 2010

Talks have stalled over a move that could see Wigan Athletic midfielder Daniel de Ridder join Hapoel Tel Aviv.

The 25-year-old right-sided midfielder has yet to play for Wigan this season and appears to be out of favour at the DW Stadium under manager Roberto Martinez.

He joined the Latics under former boss Steve Bruce in July 2008 and has made 18 appearances but has failed to feature under Martinez who replaced Bruce last summer.


Ra’anana and Betar reach Toto final

By Danny Caro, January 14, 2010

Hapoel Ra’anana will face Betar Jerusalem in the final of Israel’s Toto Cup.

Ra’anana pulled off a major shock on Wednesday night, defeating league leaders Maccabi Haifa 3-2 at the Ramat Gan National Stadium.

They did it the hard way, coming from behind after Mohammad Ghadir had put last season’s league champions ahead. But a 45th minute penalty from Itai Tuef saw them go in level at the break.

Lior Rafaelov restored Haifa’s advantage on the hour but they held the lead for just two minutes as Ra’anana’s Davit Dighmelashvili equalised.


Neasden cup hopes hang in the balance

By Danny Caro, January 14, 2010

North West Neasden A’s hopes of becoming the first Jewish team to win five trophies look destined for failure after it emerged that they are close to pulling out of at least one competition to ease their fixture backlog.

The Maccabi League giants are three matches away from earning a place in the final of the prestigious Sunday FA Cup at Anfield and more than £2,000 in prize money.


Resurgent Peer aims for top 20

By Simon Griver, January 14, 2010

Shahar Peer sees the Australian Open as a stepping stone in her determined climb back to the top.

Ranked 30 in the world, Peer, 22, will be seeded in the Melbourne tournament which starts on Monday. This should prevent a repeat of last year’s first-round exit when unseeded, she was drawn against 11th seed Caroline Wozniacki.

“My target is to get back into the top 20 and a good run in Melbourne will help me do that,” said Peer. “I feel I am playing my best tennis ever at the moment.”