I have nothing to prove at Olympics, says Sela


Dudi Sela insists he has nothing to prove ahead of his first Olympic Games.

Sela, 31, missed the cut for the last two Olympics, including a well-publicised falling out with Israeli officials ahead of the London Games four years ago. But he is confident of impressing in Rio next month.

"I don’t really feel I have to prove myself any more in Brazil,” said Sela.

"I will do my best. Eight years ago I competed in the Junior Olympics in Beijing and my ranking was 56 and the week after the Olympics there was an ATP event in Beijing. That week I made the final.

"But I know that anything can happen in tennis. It’s the best of three sets on a hard court which is a surface I like so I really hope I can do my best."

Sela has been in resurgent form since the turn of the year, climbing to 60th in the ATP rankings.

He produced an impressive performance in Nottingham last month when he knocked out 30th seed Joao Pinto before slipping to a first-round defeat against David Ferrer at Wimbledon.

"I enjoyed this year’s Wimbledon, except for the weather,” he said. “I may have lost early on but I enjoy the tournament every time I play in London.

"We play only three tournaments a year on the grass so it is something different. I was very confident before travelling to London and felt really good.

"But I played a bad match against Ferrer. Perhaps there was too much expectation but he played better and surprised me with his consistency.”
Sela describes Wimbledon as “a bigger tournament than the Olympics” but says he is determined to impress.

He said: “I’m delighted the IOC are allowing anyone in the international criteria to play. It will be a great experience, although my family will not be joining me in Rio.

"Playing for your country it is something special, like the Davis Cup. But it will take something quite spectacular to better my career highlight of playing for Israel in a Davis Cup semi-final.”

* Gili Lustig, secretary general of the Olympic Committee of Israel, insists teething problems at the Olympic village in Rio have been overcome and he is happy with conditions for the athletes.

Australia led a chorus of protests about the state of accommodation this week, but Lustig believes there is no reason to panic.

"Inevitably when you finish building the Olympic village not everything is going to be as it should,” he said.

"We've had one or two small problems with the accommodation but we didn’t want to make a big deal out of it and it’s all been fixed. It’s important to keep the atmosphere positive."

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