Israeli Official Praises Dudi Sela For Quitting Match To Observe Yom Kippur - UBITENNIS
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Israeli Official Praises Dudi Sela For Quitting Match To Observe Yom Kippur

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Dudi Sela (zimbio.com)

The minister of Sport and Culture in Israel has hailed Dudi Sela as an ‘ethical professional’ for recently withdrawing from his quarter-final match at the Shenzhen Open.

 

On Friday the world No.77 was facing Alexandr Dolgopolov for a place in only his second ATP semifinal of the season. At one set apiece, Sela called it quits after playing one game at the start of the final set. He did undergo a brief medical timeout for an injury assessment, but it is believed that the real reason was for the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur. The 32-year-old was playing a late-night match with the religious event set to start at sunset.

Sports minister Miri Regev has praised Sela for his actions. In a post on her personal Facebook account, she described Sela as a role model for other Israelis to follow.

“I was so moved to hear that you had stopped your game in the middle due to Yom Kippur commencing. You are a professional with many achievements in Israel and abroad and at the end of this week you proved that you are also an ethical person who first and foremost represents Israel. May G-d bless you and stand by your side as you continue on your way. I am proud of you and am looking forward to meeting you in Israel.” Regev wrote.

As well as a place in the semifinals, Sela also missed out of a chance of earning $34,000. According to Vavel.com, he requested that his match be brought forward, but it was denied by tournament officials.

Yom Kippur, which is also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. It is a 25-hour period where Jews fast and conduct intensive prayer. It is held of different dates every year due to the Jewish Calendar. The Jewish calendar is different to the regular one because it focuses on the moon cycle’s instead of the sun’s.

There has been no official comment for Sela, but his brother Ofer has spoken about the decision. Speaking to Israeli media, Ofer described his brother as not very religious, but stated that he quite the match out of respect for his religion and country.

“Dudi isn’t a religious man and he doesn’t usually fast on Yom Kippur and for the first time in his career he was forced to make this excruciating decision which affects his ATP ranking and cost him tens of thousands of dollars,” wrote Ofer Sela. “No one forced him to retire. He didn’t do it because he was afraid of anyone, or because he was asked to. He did it only because he respects Yom Kippur and the country which he represents.”

Sela is not the first person to skip a match for a religious holiday. In 2014 the Israeli Davis Cup team was forced to pay $14,000 for refusing to play their tie against Belgium on Yom Kippur. They originally requested to delay the clash, but hosts Belgium refused. Instead, the ITF intervened, but concluded that Israel must pay Belgium for the costs of delaying the tie.

So far in his career, Sela has reached the final of two ATP tournaments with the last occurring in 2014. He has been ranked as high as 29th in the world back in 2009.

Grand Slam

(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) The Wimbledon Clash Between Djokovic And Sinner Could Have Been Better

It was an epic five-set clash but imagine how better the match would have been if both were playing well at the same time…

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Hall of Famer Steve Flink and Ubitennis’ Ubaldo Scanagatta analyse the dramatic events that unfolded on Tuesday at Wimbledon.

 

Top seed Novak Djokovic staged an epic comeback to oust Jannik Sinner in a match of two halves. Meanwhile, Cameron Norrie brought delight to the British fans.

On the other side of the draw, how will Rafael Nadal fair against the in-form Taylor Fritz? The Spaniard recently sidestepped a question about a potential new injury. 

As for the women’s draw, Ons Jabeur made history by becoming the first Arab player to reach a major quarter-final. She will next play 34-year-old mum-of-two Tatjana Maria who had never been beyond the third round of a major until now. 

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WIMBLEDON: 10 Facts About Semi-Finalist Ons Jabeur

All you need to know about the Trailblazing Tunisian who has created history at The All England Club.

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image via twitter.com/wimbledon

Second seed Ons Jabeur achieved a new milestone for both her and her country at Wimbledon on Tuesday. 

 

The world No.2 battled back from a set down to defeat Marie Bouzkova 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, to reach the last four of a major event for the first time in her career. Jabeur has now dropped only one set in five matches played and is the highest ranked player remaining in the draw. Her major breakthrough comes seven years after she made her Grand Slam debut at the 2015 Australian Open. 

“I played really good from beginning of the second set, especially having a early break kind of helps me gain confidence,” said Jabeur.
“I know it wasn’t easy playing Marie. She gets all the balls and doesn’t make, to win a point, easy for me. I’m glad I stepped in with my game. I was more aggressive in the second set, and especially tactically I was playing some angles that she didn’t like much.”

To mark Jabeur’s Wimbledon milestone, here are 10 facts to know about her:-

  1. She is the first North African player – male or female – to reach a Grand Slam semi-final. The last woman from the entire African continent to reach a major semi-final was Amanda Coetzer at the 1997 French Open. 
  2. Her win over Bouzkova is Jabeur’s 26th Tour-level win on the grass.
  3. Jabeur has now won 83 matches over the past two seasons. This is more than any other player on the WTA Tour. 
  4. Has won 21 out of her last 23 matches.
  5. She is the only Tunisian woman currently ranked in the world’s top 700.
  6. Jabeur had failed to win back-to-back matches on her three out of her four previous appearances at Wimbledon in 2017, 2018 and 2019. She reached the quarter-finals in 2021.
  7. Coming into Wimbledon she has already earned more than $6.2m in prize money in her career.
  8. She has won three Tour titles in Birmingham (2021), Madrid (2022) and Berlin (2022). 
  9. Has beaten a top 10 player four times in her career – Dominika Cibulkova (2017 French Open), Simona Halep (Beijing 2018), Sloane Stephens (Moscow 2018) and Karolina Pliskova (Doha 2020).
  10. In October 2021 she became the first Arab player (mae or female) to crack the world’s top 10 in tennis. 

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Tatjana Maria – Reaching Wimbledon Semi-Finals is ‘Amazing’ But It Doesn’t Beat Parenthood

The underdog is enjoying her best-ever run at a major 15 years after making her debut.

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Image via twitter.com/wta

Germany’s Tatjana Maria reveals people once doubted her ability to return to tennis after having her first child. Now a mother-of-two, she has secured a place in the Wimbledon semifinals. 

 

The fairytale run of the world No.103 continued on Tuesday when she ousted compatriot Jule Niemeier 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, in her quarter-final match. Until the tournament, Maria had never been beyond the third round of a major event. However, that changed with high-profile wins over Sorana Cirstea, Maria Sakkari and Jelena Ostapenko prior to Niemeier.

“It’s amazing. I mean, I tried to calm down a little bit in the locker room and to realize something, but it’s still hard to realize it,” she said of reaching the last four at Wimbledon.

Whilst some players prepare for their Grand Slam matches in the gym, Maria’s routine is somewhat unique. She began her day by taking her 8-year-old daughter to her tennis lesson. It wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she also has a 15-month-old baby.

“Outside of the court, nothing changes for me for the moment,” she said.  “I try to keep this going, everything the same. We keep going (to the tennis lessons) even if I’m playing the semifinals.”

Incredibly the 34-year-old returned to the circuit following maternity leave less than a year ago. It was during that absence that she decided to switch to a one-handed backhand. She has been ranked as high as 46th in the world and has two Tour titles to her name. 

“A lot of people who never believed I would come back. This was already after Charlotte and when I changed my backhand,” she said.
“I showed it last time already that I am back. I reached the top 50 with Charlotte, and now I’m back with my second child. Still, everybody was doubting.’
“I’m still here and I’m a fighter, and I keep going and I keep dreaming.”

Relishing in her best-ever performance at a major event, Maria is another example of a player having a breakthrough later in their career. To put her run in perspective, in the Open Era only five other women have reached the semifinals at Wimbledon after turning 34.

However, in Maria’s eyes, her achievements on the court can’t beat her top priority off the court.

“To be a mum is for me on the top of my life. So I think it helps me in tennis too because now my priority is my kids,” she explains. “I play tennis, I want to do my best, that’s all that I want. But my kids are the priority.’
“If I go out there, I want my kids to be happy, that they are healthy, that everything is okay. That’s the most important thing for me in my life.”

Maria made her Grand Slam debut back at Wimbledon in 2007. 

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