Yshai Oliel

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Yshai Oliel
ישי עוליאל
Country (sports) Israel
ResidenceRamla, Israel
Born (2000-01-05) 5 January 2000 (age 19)
Ramla, Israel
PlaysLeft-handed (double-handed backhand)
CoachJan Pochter
Prize money$10,406
Career record0–2
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 564 (23 April 2018)
Current rankingNo. 597 (12 May 2018)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open JuniorF (2017)
French Open Junior2R (2016, 2017)
Wimbledon Junior2R (2017)
US Open Junior3R (2016)
Career record0–0
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 1,174 (19 March 2018)
Current rankingNo. 1,468 (12 May 2018)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open Junior2R (2017)
French Open JuniorW (2016)
Wimbledon JuniorQF (2017)
US Open JuniorSF (2016)
Last updated on: 28 December 2017.

Yshai Oliel (Hebrew: ישי עוליאל; born January 5, 2000) is an Israeli junior tennis player.

Oliel is a two-time Junior Orange Bowl champion, having won in 2012 and 2014. He also won the 2016 French Open Boys' Doubles title, with Patrik Rikl. He made it to the finals in the boys' singles at the 2017 Australian Open, where he lost.

Early and personal life[edit]

Oliel is originally from Ramla, Israel, and is left-handed.[1] His parents, Avraham and Floret Oliel, are Jews who are originally from Morocco.[2][3] He is the youngest of their five children.[4]

As a teenager he grew long, shoulder-length hair. But because his sister told him it was getting to be too much and that it was time "to be a man", he cut his hair and donated it to children undergoing cancer treatment.[5][6]

Tennis career[edit]

Oliel started playing tennis at the age of 5.[2]

He won the Junior Orange Bowl in the 12-and-under singles category in 2012, while he was in 7th grade.[7][8] He returned at 13 years of age, ranked first in the tournament, to win the 2014 Junior Orange Bowl in the 14-and-under singles category.[9] That made him one of only nine tennis players to win the Junior Orange Bowl championship twice in its 70-year history, which list includes Andy Murray, Jimmy Connors, Jennifer Capriati, and Monica Seles.[10][11][1][3][9]

As a 15-year-old in 2015, Oliel was ranked No. 48 among players 18-and-younger.[1]

Oliel, at age 16, won the 2016 French Open Boys' Doubles title with Patrik Rikl of the Czech Republic, defeating Chung Yun-seong and Orlando Luz in the final 6–3, 6–4.[12] Oliel said: "It helped that there were hundreds of Israelis and members of the Jewish community that came along to Roland Garros to cheer me along. I feel very proud to be out there representing Israel."[12] He became the fourth Israeli to win a junior grand slam title, joining Dudi Sela (who won the same title in 2003), Anna Smashnova, and Shahar Pe'er, all of whom went on to become top-30 players.[12][13]

At the 2016 Junior Boys' singles tournament at the US Open at age 16, after beating No. 2 seed Alex De Minaur of Australia in the second round 4–6, 6–2, 7–6 (2), he lost to No. 13 seed Nicola Kuhn of Spain.[14][4] At the 2016 Junior Boys' doubles tournament at the US Open, Oliel and Zizou Bergs of Belgium made it to the semi-finals, where they lost to ultimate champions Juan Carlos Aguilar and Felipe Meligeni 4–6, 7–6 (1), 10–2.[15][16]

As a 16-year-old in September 2016, Oliel was ranked No. 39 among players 18-and-younger.[14]

He lost to Hungarian Zsombor Piros in the boys' singles final at the 2017 Australian Open, which he reached after beating top seed Yibing Wu 6–4, 3–6, 6–2 in the semifinals.[17] Oliel had hoped to follow in the footsteps of Israeli junior champions Shahar Pe'er, who won the girls' Australian Open in 2004, and Anna Smashnova, who won the girls' French Open in 1991.[17] He became the second Israeli to reach a final at a boys' Grand Slam event, following Noam Behr who lost in the final of the boys' US Open in 1992.[17] The result allowed him to reach the No. 4 place in the Junior rankings.[18]

Later in 2017, Oliel continued to slowly discover the professional circuit and made his first appearance in a Challenger tournament, in Sophia Antipolis for the Verrazzano Open. In December 2017, while still 17 years old, he won his first Futures tournament, in Sajur, Israel.[19] With the victory he became the fourth player in the world born in the year 2000 to win a Futures title, joining Felix Auger-Aliassime, Nicola Kuhn, and Thiago Seyboth Wild.[20] Following a few ITF Men's Circuit tournaments played with promising results in his home country (three semi-finals and a win), he was ranked No. 629 by the end of the 2017 ATP season, which constituted the best ranking of his young career.

In March 2018, he lost in the finals of an Israel F2 in Ramat Hasharon, Israel, to Harri Heliovaara of Finland.[21] In April he beat world # 233 Czech Vaclav Safranek.[21]

Playing style[edit]

Oliel has been noted for his grace, timing, and tenacity.[3] He has a forehand with a good deal of spin, a stable two-handed backhand, a good volley with excellent touch, and he moves well on the court and reads situations well.[5] Former French Open and Wimbledon women's doubles champion Angela Buxton compared his style to that of Roger Federer, noting that he does not "force or muscle the ball".[6]

Junior Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 1[edit]

Result Year Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Runner-Up 2017 Australian Open Hard Hungary Zsombor Piros 6–4, 4–6, 3–6

Doubles: 1 (1 title)[edit]

Result Year Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 2016 French Open Clay Czech Republic Patrik Rikl South Korea Chung Yun-seong
Brazil Orlando Luz
6–3, 6–4

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Steven Braid (29 May 2016). "Israel's Top Tennis Academy is Streamlined for Success". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b "PM Netanyahu Meets with World Youth Tennis Champion Yishai Oliel", Prime Minister's Office (30 December 2012)
  3. ^ a b c "The Philanthropist With Wimbledon Dreams for Israeli Tennis Hopefuls". Haaretz. 24 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b Howard Blas (12 September 2016). "Oliel leads Israel's young tennis talents; Oliel, the tall, hard hitting left-hander with solid ground strokes and serve, showed the New York crowd how much potential he has". The Jerusalem Post.
  5. ^ a b Alon Idan (9 September 2016). "In a Tiny Stadium in New York City, I Found Israel's Next Big Tennis Star". Haaretz.
  6. ^ a b "Israeli sensation reminds me of Federer, says Buxton". The Jewish Chronicle. 17 July 2015.
  7. ^ Asher Zeiger (23 December 2012). "Israeli tween wins top tennis tourney; Yishai Oliel is the new Junior Orange Bowl 'Boys 12 & Under' champion, following in the footsteps of Connors and Murray". Times of Israel.
  8. ^ "Tennis: Israel's Ulliel, 12, wins Junior Orange Bowl". ynet.
  9. ^ a b "14-year-old Israeli wins revered junior tennis tournament". ynetnews.
  10. ^ Asher Zeiger (23 December 2012). "Israeli teen wins top tennis tourney". Times of Israel.
  11. ^ Oren Aharoni (23 December 2014). "14-year-old Israeli wins revered junior tennis tournament". ynetnews.com.
  12. ^ a b c "Oliel wins first junior tennis grand slam title". The Jewish Chronicle.
  13. ^ "Israeli Yshai Oliel wins French Open boys' doubles title with Czech partner". i24news.
  14. ^ a b "Israeli juniors Oliel, Krolitzky advance in style". The Jerusalem Post.
  15. ^ "Oliel reaches semi-finals of Junior Doubles at US Open". The Jewish Chonicle.
  16. ^ "US Open Friday Tennis Results". Tennis News. 10 September 2016.
  17. ^ a b c "Israeli teen Oliel comes up short in boys’ tennis final," The Jerusalem Post.
  18. ^ "Israel set to face Portugal in Davis Cup," The Jerusalem Post.
  19. ^ "Israeli tennis prodigy Oliel continues climb toward greatness," The Jerusalem Post.
  20. ^ "17-year-old Yshai Oliel wins first Futures title at home in Israel," Tennis World.
  21. ^ a b Yshai Oliel | Player Activity | ATP World Tour | Tennis

External links[edit]