Tennis

It's Game on for Sela

By Simon Griver, June 20, 2008

Eyal Berkovic is set to become the new manager of Israel’s Under 17 team.

Now 36, Berkovic won 82 caps for Israel during a career that took him from Maccabi Haifa to Southampton, West Ham, Celtic, Blackburn, Manchester City, Portsmouth and finished at Maccabi Tel Aviv in May, 2006.

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Patched-up Levy gets second chance after qualifying woe

By Mike Sinclair, June 20, 2008

Wimbledon ended before it started for crestfallen Israeli star Harel Levy whose hopes of making the main draw were dashed in the first round of the singles qualifying tournament in Roehampton.

Ranked 30 in the world in 2001, Levy had claimed the scalps of Pete Sampras in his prime but he was forced to try to qualify because his world ranking of 159 was too low for direct entry. He lost 6-2, 7-5 to Frederic Niemeyer, Canada’s world No 237.

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You're fired

June 6, 2008

Shahar Peer has sacked her Spanish coaching team of Conchita Martinez and Gabriel Urpe after crashing out in the first round.

The 21-year-old Israeli, who is set to play at the Beijing Olympics, fared slightly better in the women’s doubles. Together with Russian partner Victoria Azarenka, they were eliminated at the quarter-finals stage.

Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich ensured a disappointing competition for Israel after bowing out in the third round in the men’s doubles.

Ram and Nathalie Dechy of France, who won the mixed doubles title last year, crashed out in the first round.

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Israelis eliminated in Paris

By Simon Griver, May 30, 2008

Shahar Peer was the most high profile Jewish casualty in the first round at Roland Garros, crashing out to a player ranked 132 places below her.

The 17th seed Israeli continued her poor run with a three-set defeat against Australian Samantha Stosur. Tzipi Obziler (91) put up a brave fight before going down in similar fashion against eighth seed Venus Williams. Obziler, 35 succumbed 6-2 in the decider. She said: “Naturally I’m disappointed but I can take a lot of satisfaction from the ability I showed.”

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French test for Peer

By Simon Griver, May 22, 2008

Shahar Peer is looking to dig herself out of the biggest crisis of her career and get back on track in the French Open, which starts on Monday.

The clay at Roland Garros in Paris is usually Peer’s favourite surface but her preparations for the second grand slam of the year have gone awry after a shoulder injury forced her to withdraw from last week’s Berlin Open and this week’s Strasbourg tournament.

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Barnett serves up a treat

April 24, 2008

Tennis Jonathan Barnett helped the VLTC of Great Britain draw 4-4 with Israel at the inaugural match at Maccabi Zafon in Tel Aviv.

The Maccabiah Games veteran was victorious in a singles match that last more than two and a half hours, winning in a third set tie-break.

The Israeli team included Gabi Dubitski who had previously represented Israel in the Davis Cup. But his big match experience counted for little as he was beaten.

A return match is expected to be scheduled in London within the next 12 months.

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Good draw for Israel

April 24, 2008

Israel is well placed to retain its place in the top eight World Group of the Federation Cup after Czech star Nicole Vaidisova (15) pulled out of this weekend’s match at Ramat Hasharon. With Vaidisova preferring to concentrate on her personal career, Shahar Peer (18) and Tzipi Obziler (97) should have the edge in the playoff over Lucie Safarova (39) and Klara Zakopalova (56) given that they have home advantage.

Israel’s men look even stronger favourites to remain in the Davis Cup World Group after they were drawn at home to Peru in September’s relegation/promotion playoff.

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Ram and Erlich keep titles flowing

By Simon Griver, March 28, 2008

Australian Open doubles winners Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich bagged another title when they won the Indian Wells Masters tournament following a straight sets win over Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic.

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