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Israelis reflect on Australian Open disappointment

    There was disappointment for Israel’s three entrants who tumbled out in the first round at the Australian Open.

    Shahar Peer (75) went down 6-4, 6-1 against Romanian Monica Niculescu (64). The Israeli no. 1 is still struggling for form following her return from a foot injury.

    "I made a lot of mistakes, especially in the second set," said Peer. "I missed a lot of easy shots which I was putting them into the net. However, it's not easy to miss two and a half months - you miss the environment of playing in a game and a lot of it is in the mind.

    "But as long as I am able to play to my maximum and enjoy it, then I’ll continue playing."

    Julia Glushko (90) went down in three sets, 5-7, 6-3, 1-6, to 26th seed Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic.

    Glushko said: "I think I need to work on the mental side of the game - one moment of weakness against the likes of Safarova and she can take the game from you.

    "I need to work on the consistency of my game so I can keep the same standard throughout the match."

    In the Men’s event, Dudi Sela (68) lost a five-set marathon that lasted nearly four hours against Jarkko Nieminen (39th).

    Sela commented: "I will carry on working hard and hope to have a good year.

    "I was grateful for the huge support I received today, they were brilliant from before I even arrived on court - if I could take them all around the world with me I would!”

    By Josh Landy in Melbourne

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