|Residence||Tel Aviv, Israel|
April 4, 1985|
Kiryat Shmona, Israel
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Coach||Yoav Ben Zvi|
|Career record||143–193 (42.56% in Grand Slam and ATP World Tour main draw matches, and in Davis Cup)|
|Highest ranking||No. 29 (20 July 2009)|
|Current ranking||No. 144 (23 July 2018)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||3R (2009, 2015, 2016)|
|French Open||2R (2009, 2015)|
|US Open||2R (2007, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017)|
|Olympic Games||2R (2016)|
|Highest ranking||No. 122 (22 February 2010)|
|Current ranking||No. 221 (23 July 2018)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||2R (2010)|
|French Open||2R (2010, 2012)|
|US Open||3R (2009, 2017)|
|Davis Cup||SF (2009)|
|Last updated on: 26 July 2018.|
David "Dudi" Sela (Hebrew: דודי סלע; born April 4, 1985) is an Israeli professional tennis player. He reached a career-high singles ranking of World No. 29 in July 2009. As of January 2018[update], Sela is Israel's top men's singles player.
Representing Israel in the Davis Cup, highlights include an upset win in 2007 over World No. 7 Fernando González and being a key factor in Israel's semifinal run in 2009. In 2008 he beat World No. 5 David Ferrer in straight sets, and in 2010 he beat World No. 7 Andy Roddick in straight sets. Sela reached the fourth round of the 2009 Wimbledon Championships and has finished runner-up in two ATP tournaments in Beijing and Atlanta. In 2015, he won his 24th Challenger event of his career, moving him into sole possession of second place on the all-time list of Challenger title wins.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Juniors: 2000–03
- 3 Pro career
- 4 Davis Cup
- 5 Playing style
- 6 Coaching
- 7 Jewish heritage
- 8 Personal life
- 9 ATP career finals
- 10 ITF & Challenger Career Finals
- 11 Singles performance timeline
- 12 Doubles performance timeline
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Sela was born and raised in Kiryat Shmona, an Israeli city near the Israel-Lebanon border. His father Michael, a bus driver, and mother Anca, a nurse from a Jewish family, immigrated to Israel from Romania. His family name was originally Sălăjean, but his father changed it so that it would be more easily pronounced in Israel.
At the age of two, Dudi, diminutive of David, had his hands on his first racket, and at the age of seven he began to play tennis. His tennis idols were his brother Ofer, who was a top 200 player, and the Israeli Amos Mansdorf.
In 2000 Sela won in doubles play with Idan Ben-Harosh in the Haifa International and in Corfu, Greece. In 2001 he won in doubles with Maor Zirkin reached the finals in singles play at the Israel International. He won his first singles title in Van Keeken of the Netherlands. He won in both singles and doubles (with Michael Ryderstedt) at the Fischer Junior Open.
In 2002, Sela reached the quarterfinals in the Australian Open Junior Competition and was in the top eight at the French Open Juniors. He won at Beaulieu Sur Mer. In 2003, his final year as a junior, he reached the quarterfinals at the Roland Garros Junior singles competition and won the French Open 2003 doubles title with partner Győrgy Balázs of Hungary. He made it to the semifinals at the US Open Junior Championships and won the Australia F1 tournament in Tasmania. In July he triumphed at the Togliatti competition in Russia, resulting in a new ATP ranking of 256.
Sela's highest junior world rankings were No. 9 in the ITF singles rankings (in 2002) and No. 16 in doubles.
2004–06: Top 200
His best results in 2004 were the semifinals at the Covington Challenger, and the quarterfinals in four other Challenger tournaments.
In 2006 Sela five USTA Pro Circuit singles titles: at Claremont, California, Costa Mesa, California, Waikoloa, Hawaii, Honolulu, and at the Price LeBlanc Lexus Pro Tennis Classic in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
2007:Breaking top 100
In January 2007, Sela qualified for the main draw of the 2007 Australian Open. In the first round he upset Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand, who was ranked #56 in the world. In the second round, he lost to Marat Safin in five sets, despite starting by leading the Russian two sets to one. In April 2007, Sela lost in the semifinals in a Challenger tournament to Paul Baccanello in Lanzarote, Spain.
In July 2007 he lost in the finals of the Open Diputación in Córdoba, Spain. In the tournament he defeated #47 ranked Albert Montañés. Later in July, he won a challenger title in Togliatti, Russia, his fourth career title, beating Russia's Mikhail Ledovskikh in the final.
Sela then qualified for the US Open. In the first round of the main draw he defeated Nicolás Lapentti, his fourth upset of a top 100 player in the first 8 months of the year. Lapentti was once ranked as high as #6 in the world, but at the time of the match was ranked #80. Sela lost to world #23 Juan Mónaco in the second round.
In October he first defeated world #51 Juan Martín del Potro at the Japan Open in Tokyo, followed by #90 Boris Pašanski. Sela won the Seoul Challenger tournament later in October, winning all five of his matches in straight sets. The win lifted him to a career-high 73 in the world.
Sela had considered retiring before the start of 2008 if he did not make a breakthrough, but things came together. In October he said: "My target is to reach the top 70 within the next year."
He lost in the finals of the ATP Taiwan Challenge in Kaohsiung in November to Lu Yen-hsun, but won the doubles title together with Stephen Amritraj of India. He won the Keio Challenger in Yokohama the following week, losing only one set (in a tiebreaker). In December 2007, he had his revenge on Marat Safin in Saint Anton, with a straight-set win. It was his tenth win over a player in the top-100 in the year. For the year he compiled a 33–14 match record in Challenger play with two titles, went 10–5 (all on hard courts) in ATP level competition, and became the first Israeli man to finish in the top 100 since Harel Levy in 2001.
2008: Breaking top 60 & first ATP final
In March at the Pacific Life Open he defeated world #49 Nicolas Kiefer, then at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami he defeated world #48 Hyung-Taik Lee of Korea, and #14 Tommy Robredo of Spain in the 2nd round. In May in Austria he defeated world #80 Mischa Zverev of Germany and in July he won the Vancouver challenger, beating Kevin Kim in the final.
Sela was gravely disappointed by the failure of the Israel Olympic Committee to allow him to represent Israel at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Despite the fact that Sela met the International Olympic Committee's criteria to play in the Olympics, and the Israel Tennis Association recommended that he deserved to go, the Israel Olympic Committee refused to accept the recommendation. Sela said he learned he wasn't going to be permitted to go to the Olympics because "I wasn’t inside the top 50 ranked players.... I met the International Olympic Committee's criteria. But they don’t want to send me, and I don’t understand why. It's not like I’m 500th in the world, I’m 60th. When Nicolás Massú won the Olympics he was ranked 70th, so it shows anything can happen. I want to go and be the first Israeli to play in the men's singles for 20 years."
In August Sela defeated world #97 Vince Spadea of the United States at the Legg Mason Classic in Washington. Later in the month he beat world #99 Donald Young, in New Haven, Connecticut at the Pilot Pen tournament.
Sela reached his first ATP Tour final in September at the China Open, while ranked #92. Sela, unseeded, defeated the world #61 Frenchman Nicolas Devilder in the first round. In the second round, Sela upset the first seed and world #5, David Ferrer, in straight sets. Sela continued his run by defeating the sixth seed, world #16 Tommy Robredo, and the seventh seed, world #35 Rainer Schüttler. Sela was defeated by Andy Roddick in the final. Sela became the first Israeli since Harel Levy in 2001 to reach an ATP final. "Dudi reached the final and realized he had it", said his brother Ofer. "He beat top-30 players day after day.... It was the first time he proved he was no paper tiger, but one who can dish it out to everyone. He always knew he had the potential, but suddenly he understood how to fulfill it."
2009:Breaking top 30
In the Australian Open, Sela won three rounds of qualifiers in order to make the main draw. In the final round, Sela beat Grega Žemlja of Slovenia in dramatic fashion, surviving six match points.
In the main draw, Sela beat 30th-seeded German veteran Rainer Schüttler, who was ranked number 31 in the world. In the second round, he defeated world number 44 Victor Hănescu of Romania, saving all 12 of Hănescu's break points. He was the first Israeli man to reach the third round of a Grand Slam since Amos Mansdorf progressed to the round of 32 in Wimbledon in 1994. In the round of 32, however, Sela was defeated by fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
In February at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis, Sela made it through two rounds of qualifying matches, and then as far as the semifinals. Along the way he beat world number 92 Robert Kendrick, world number 73 Bobby Reynolds, world number 54 Florent Serra of France, and world number 43 Igor Kunitsyn of Russia. With that, he raised his world ranking to number 65. In late February at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships, he beat world number 80 Philipp Petzschner of Germany. In March, he defeated world number 42 José Acasuso at the BMW Tennis Championship, but withdrew in his next match after suffering a leg injury.
In May, he reached a new career-high world ranking of number 55. That month, he won his first round match at the 2009 French Open, his first French Open victory ever, against Jean-René Lisnard of Monaco. In June at the Ordina Open, he defeated world number 59 Christophe Rochus, and at 's-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands in a grass-court tuneup for Wimbledon, he beat world number 39 Igor Kunitsyn. He again reached a career-high singles ranking, this time number 46.
Sela, commenting on the chanting and flag-waving during his Wimbledon matches
In the third round, Sela was urged on by a contingent of supporters who for much of the first two sets chanted a Hebrew song, translated roughly as: "David, King of Israel is alive and lives on!" Sela defeated world number 15 Tommy Robredo of Spain, seeded fifteenth; he is now 3–0 lifetime against Robredo. Al Jazeera described the upset as a "shock result". That advanced Sela to the round of 16, his first Grand Slam 4th round, which The Independent described as the "surprise of the week". Sela became the first Israeli man in 20 years (since Amos Mansdorf in 1989) to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon, and the fourth Israeli man ever (and first since Mansdorf at the 1992 Australian Open) to reach the fourth round in a Grand Slam. The victory guaranteed him a payday of at least $80,000.
Sela next sought to join Shlomo Glickstein (1981 Australian Open), Mansdorf (1992 Australian Open), and Shahar Pe'er (2007 Australian Open and 2007 US Open) as the only Israelis to have made it to a Grand Slam quarterfinal. He was defeated in the fourth round, however, by the 2008 Australian Open champion, then-world number 4 Serbian Novak Djokovic.
On the strength of his Wimbledon performance, Sela rose to a career-high world number 33 in July 2009. Following his victory in the Davis Cup against Russia the next week, he rose again to a new career high, this time number 29, one better than the career-high of Davis Cup teammate Harel Levy.
In late July, Sela was seeded second for the 2009 Indianapolis Tennis Championships in singles. In doubles, Sela partnered American Jesse Levine and defeated Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan and Josselin Ouanna of France to make it to the quarterfinals.
2010: Challenger tour success
On June 10, 2010, at the 2010 Aegon Championships, Sela upset number 4 seed, and world number 7, Andy Roddick in straight sets. He won the Rhodes Challenger in May, defeating former top ten player Rainer Schuettler. On August 8, 2010, he won the Odlum Brown Vancouver Open title, upsetting the first seed Taylor Dent in the semifinal and the fourth seed Ričardas Berankis in the final. He has a career 15–0 in this tournament (including winning 2005 and 2008 titles).
2012–15: 100 wins & second ATP final
In September 2013, Dudi Sela defeated Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia W 7–6(2), 6–3, 6–7(2), 5–7, 6–4 in the first round of the 2013 US Open. Sela then lost 4–6 4–6 1–6 in the second round to Janko Tipsarevic. In 2013, Dudi also won challenger events in Tashkent, Astana and Busan. Additionally, he was also a finalist in a challenger event at Istanbul.
In January 2014, Sela reached the Quarterfinals of the Chennai Open in India beating Lukas Lacko and Mikhail Youzhny before losing to Edouard Roger Vasselin. In the first round of the Australian Open, Dudi lost to Jarkko Nieminen 6–3, 6–7(3), 7–6(3), 3–6, 3–6.
In February, Sela reached the quarterfinals of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors where he beat Lukas Rosol and Lukas Lacko before losing to Bjorn Phau 4–6 3–6. At the Delray Beach Open in Florida, Dudi lost to John Isner 6–3, 1–6, 6–7(5) in a tight second round match.
Sela achieved a notable success in 2015 at Challenger level when he won the Odlum Brown Vancouver Open for the fourth time. Sela's victory made him just the fifth man in history to win a particular ATP Challenger tournament four or more times, and also moved him into sole possession of second place on the all-time list of Challenger title wins, with 24.
2016: Return to top 60 & first doubles title
At the 2016 Australian Open, he defeated Benjamin Becker in the first round, then defeated Fernando Verdasco (who had defeated Rafael Nadal in the first round in five sets) in four before losing to Andrey Kuznetsov in the third. After the Australian Open Sela was in bad shape and lost 4 consecutive matches, including a match against Peter Nagy who was ranked 612. However, in March he had three successful Challengers, including two Semi-Finals (Guangzhou, Ra'anana) and one title (Shenzhen).
In 2017, Sela reached one semifinal and two quarterfinals on the ATP Tour, and won two more Challenger Tour titles. He also won at least one match in the three Grand Slam tournaments in which he played.
Sela quit his quarterfinal match in the third set of the 2017 ATP Shenzhen Open so he could begin observing Yom Kippur by the time the sun set, forfeiting a possible $34,000 in prize money and 90 rankings points.
In 2017, Sela concluded the year with his highest year-end ranking in eight years, at No. 67 in the world.
Before the Chile-Israel Davis Cup match began in September 2007, even The Jewish Chronicle wrote: "Led by Fernando González (6) and Nicolás Massú (72), it is hard to see Israel's Dudi Sela (105) and Noam Okun (186), backed up by doubles specialists Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich, winning the contest. González and Massú are also a formidable doubles partnership, having won the Olympic gold medal in Athens in 2004."
That same month, before playing Nicolás Massú of Chile in the first match of the tie, Sela said: "We like being the underdog. I'm very pleased with the fact that I'm playing first and I'm very confident of claiming the win." He then proceeded to upset Massu, ranked #72 in the world, and formerly ranked #9 in the world, in a 5-hour 7-minute match. "This is definitely the biggest win in my career", Sela said afterwards. Later in that Davis Cup tie, Dudi Sela defeated #7 in the world Fernando González in a 5-hour 1-minute match. It is arguably the greatest tennis match ever played in Israel. The victory lifted Israel over Chile and into 2008's World Group. Gonzalez was at the time the highest-ranked player Sela had ever beaten in his career (he later beat world #5 David Ferrer in Beijing in September 2008), and his 6th upset of a top-100 player in the first 9 months of the year. Elated, Sela said "This is definitely the happiest day of my life." Sela was congratulated over the phone by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Shimon Peres after the match.
In the 2008 World Group, Israel hosted Sweden in Ramat HaSharon. Sela started with a win against world #71 Jonas Björkman and gave Israel an advantage of 1–0. He then lost to world #60 Thomas Johansson as Israel lost the tie 3–2. In the 2008 World Group Playoffs, Sela led the Israeli team to a 4–1 victory over Peru at Ramat Hasharon. Sela won both his singles contests, defeating Iván Miranda and Luis Horna.
In the 2009 World Group Playoffs in March 2009, Israel again faced seven-time Davis Cup champion Sweden. Sela led the Israeli team to a come-from-behind 3–2 victory over the Swedes at Baltic Hall in Malmö, Sweden, to advance in the 2009 Davis Cup. Sela won each of his singles matches in 5 sets, coming from behind to defeat Andreas Vinciguerra in his hometown and came from behind to stun 2002 Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson. Sela views it as the biggest win of his career to that point. In their 84-year Davis Cup history, the Swedes had never before lost a tie after holding a 2–1 lead. The last time Israel's Davis Cup team reached the level of being one of the top eight tennis nations in the world was in 1987, against India.
Israel (ranked 8th in the Davis Cup standings, with 5,394 points) hosted heavily favored Russia (which won in both 2002 and 2006, and was the top-ranked country in Davis Cup standings, with 27,897 points) in a Davis Cup quarterfinal tie in July 2009, on indoor hard courts at the Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv. Israel was represented by Sela, Harel Levy, Jonathan Erlich, and Andy Ram. Russia's lineup consisted of Marat Safin (#60 in the world; former world #1), Igor Andreev (24), Igor Kunitsyn (35), and Mikhail Youzhny (69; former world #8). Sela said before the tie: "We feel we can beat the Russians." The stage was then set by Safin, who prior to the tie told the press: "With all due respect, Israel was lucky to get to the quarterfinals." The Israeli team's response was to beat the Russian team in each of their first three matches, thereby winning the tie. Levy, world #210, beat Russia's top player, Andreev, world #24 in the opening match. Sela (#33) followed by beating Russian Youzhny. Israeli captain Eyal Ran likened his players to two fighter jets on court, saying: "I felt as if I had two F-16s out there today, they played amazingly well." The 10,500 spectators were the largest crowd ever for a tennis match in Israel. The next day Israelis Ram and Erlich beat Safin and Kunitsyn in front of a boisterous crowd of over 10,000. Even the Saudi Gazette described the doubles match as a "thrilling" win. Ran was carried shoulder-high around the Tel Aviv stadium, as the 10,000-strong crowd applauded. With the tie clinched for Israel, the reverse singles rubbers were "dead", and instead of best-of-five matches, best-of-three sets were played, with the outcomes of little to no importance. Israel wrapped up a 4–1 victory over Russia, as Levy defeated Kunitsyn, while Sela retired with a wrist injury while down 3–4 in the first set against Andreev. Israel, however, lost to Spain in the semi-finals, 4–1.
Sela, along with Diego Schwartzman, Camila Giorgi, Julia Glushko, and Noah Rubin is one of a number of Jewish tennis players who are highly ranked. "It's very special being able to play around the world", Sela said. "It is fun playing in different places because Jewish people will come out to watch me."
Sela enjoys support outside of Israel from his fan brigade, known as the "Hebrew Hammer", whose chanting in both English and Hebrew aims to replicate the raucous atmosphere of tennis matches in Tel Aviv that helped him defeat the likes of González in arguably his most historic victory. Originating at the LA Tennis Open in 2008, the Hebrew Hammer has been spotlit on telecasts by the Tennis Channel.
ATP career finals
Singles: 2 (2 runner-ups)
|Loss||0–1||Sep 2008||China Open, China||International||Hard||Andy Roddick||4–6, 7–6(8–6), 3–6|
|Loss||0–2||Jul 2014||Atlanta Open, United States||250 Series||Hard||John Isner||3–6, 4–6|
Doubles: 1 (1 title)
|Win||1–0||May 2016||Istanbul Open, Turkey||250 Series||Clay||Flavio Cipolla|| Andrés Molteni
|6–3, 5–7, [10–7]|
ITF & Challenger Career Finals
Singles: 36 (28–8)
|ATP Challenger Tour Finals (0–1)|
|ATP Challengers (20–6)|
|ITF Futures (7–1)|
|Winner||1.||March 29, 2003||Burnie, Australia||Hard||Paul Baccanello||4–3 RET|
|Runner-up||2.||May 24, 2003||Verona, Italy||Clay||Tomas Tenconi||6–4, 0–6, 2–6|
|Winner||3.||July 14, 2003||Togliatti, Russia||Hard||Juan Pablo Brzezicki||6–2, 6–4|
|Winner||4.||February 26, 2005||Gosford, Australia||Hard||Sadik Kadir||6–1, 6–1|
|Winner||5.||July 25, 2005||Lexington, United States||Hard||Bobby Reynolds||6–3, 3–6, 6–4|
|Winner||6.||August 1, 2005||Vancouver, Canada||Hard||Paul Baccanello||6–2, 6–3|
|Winner||7.||September 16, 2006||California, USA||Hard||Sascha Klör||5–1 RET|
|Winner||8.||September 23, 2006||California, USA||Hard||Robert Yim||7–5, 6–4|
|Winner||9.||October 28, 2006||Louisiana, USA||Hard||Izak Van der Merwe||5–7, 6–4, 6–3|
|Winner||10.||November 18, 2006||Hawaii, USA||Hard||Lesley Joseph||6–1, 6–4|
|Winner||11.||November 25, 2006||Hawaii, USA||Hard||Fritz Wolmarans||6–3, 6–3|
|Runner-up||12.||July 2, 2007||Córdoba, Spain||Hard||Adrián Menéndez-Maceiras||4–6, 6–0, 5–7|
|Winner||13.||July 16, 2007||Togliatti, Russia||Hard||Mikhail Ledovskikh||7–6, 6–3|
|Winner||14.||October 22, 2007||Seoul, South Korea||Hard||Konstantinos Economidis||6–4, 6–4|
|Winner||15.||November 19, 2007||Yokohama, Japan||Hard||Takao Suzuki||6–7, 6–4, 6–2|
|Winner||16.||July 28, 2008||Vancouver, Canada||Hard||Kevin Kim||6–3, 6–0|
|Runner-up||17.||November 12, 2008||Kaohsiung, Taiwan||Hard||Yen-Hsun Lu||3–6, 3–6|
|Winner||18.||May 2, 2010||Rhodes, Greece||Hard||Rainer Schüttler||7–6, 6–3|
|Winner||19.||August 9, 2010||Vancouver, Canada||Hard||Ričardas Berankis||7–5, 6–2|
|Winner||20.||May 15, 2011||Busan, South Korea||Hard||Tatsuma Ito||6–2, 6–7(5–7), 6–3|
|Winner||21.||May 21, 2011||Fergana, Uzbekistan||Hard||Greg Jones||6–2, 6–1|
|Winner||22.||June 11, 2011||Nottingham, United Kingdom||Grass||Jérémy Chardy||6–4, 3–6, 7–5|
|Runner-up||23.||November 20, 2011||São Paulo, Brazil||Hard||Cedrik-Marcel Stebe||2–6, 4–6|
|Winner||24.||September 2, 2012||Bangkok, Thailand||Hard||Yūichi Sugita||6–1, 7–5|
|Winner||25.||May 9, 2013||Busan, South Korea||Hard||Alex Bogomolov, Jr.||6–1, 6–4|
|Runner-up||26.||July 14, 2013||Istanbul, Turkey||Hard||Benjamin Becker||1–6, 6–2, 2–3 RET|
|Winner||27.||July 28, 2013||Astana, Kazakhstan||Hard||Mikhail Kukushkin||5–7, 6–2, 7–6|
|Winner||28.||October 13, 2013||Taskhent, Uzbekistan||Hard||Teymuraz Gabashvili||6–1, 6–2|
|Runner-up||29.||November 16, 2014||Helsinki, Finland||Hard||Jurgen Zopp||4–6, 7–5, 6–7(8–6)|
|Winner||30.||April 12, 2015||Batman, Turkey||Hard||Blaz Kavcic||6–7(5–7), 6–3, 6–3|
|Winner||31.||August 23, 2015||Vancouver, Canada||Hard||John-Patrick Smith||6–4, 7–5|
|Winner||32.||November 1, 2015||Suzhou, China||Hard||Matija Pecotic||6–1, 0–1 RET|
|Runner-up||33.||January 10, 2016||Happy Valley, Australia||Hard||Taylor Fritz||6–7(7–9), 2–6|
|Winner||34.||March 27, 2016||Shenzen, China||Hard||Di Wu||6–4, 6–3|
|Runner-up||35.||May 7, 2016||Karshi, Uzbekistan||Hard||Marko Tepavac||6–2, 3–6, 6–7(4–7)|
|Winner||36.||January 14, 2017||Canberra, Australia||Hard||Jan-Lennard Struff||3–6, 4–6, 3–6|
|Winner||37.||June 18, 2017||Nottingham, United Kingdom||Grass||Thomas Fabbiano||4-6, 6-4, 6-3|
Singles performance timeline
Current as far as the 2018 Australian Open.
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
|Year End Ranking||259||308||170||202||64||112||43||75||83||109||73||99||100||96||67|
Doubles performance timeline
Current as far as the 2018 Australian Open.
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
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- ATP Rankings
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- Mitzpeh | Dudi Sela: Underappreciated Israeli sports icon
- Ofer Sela | Overview | ATP World Tour | Tennis
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