A dismal Wimbledon for Jewish players

  • Sport
As at the time of writing, Wimbledon 2015 is winding down to a dramatic and exciting climax. Wimbledon is of course the stand- out annual grand slam tennis event on the pro circuit and one which is avidly followed right across the globe.
by ILAN HERRMANN | Jul 08, 2015

Wimbledon is not just a gathering for sport, it has also fashionably become a mixing of all sorts, including politicians, singers, actors, sport stars and sometimes even the queen of England!

This year’s tournament has had its fair share of thrills and spills as it usually does, with some magical tennis and some shock defeats. The demise of former world number one Rafael Nadal continues. Having come in to the tournament seeded 10th, he was disposed of by the 102nd seeded Dustin Brown of the US.

The top seeds of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka have all made good, which bodes well for a grand finale.

Serena Williams easily defeated her sister Venus in round four and is looking to continue her 2015 grand slam march, having won both at the Australian and the French Opens.

Jewish participation in this year’s event has seen few high points. 

A dismal set of qualifying rounds saw Shahar Peer, Amir Weintraub and Julia Glushko, all of Israel, tumble out.

Men’s singles hopefuls, Diego Schwartzman and Dudi Sela, fared little better after first round defeats. Israel's Sela went down in four sets against Dominic Thiem of Austria, while the Argentine Schwartzman lost in straight sets to hard-hitting Australian, Nick Kyrgios.

Sela put the defeat behind him saying: “Now I’m looking forward to Israel’s Davis Cup match at home to Slovenia. After that I’ll play Challenger tournaments in America and I hope to finish the season strongly.”

Italian, Camilla Giorgi, the last Jewish singles player left in the competition, had a good run through the early rounds. The 25-year-old, seeded 32nd in the ITP rankings and originally from a quaint little town, Macerate, near the Adriatic Sea in Italy, defeated Brazilian Teliana Pereira in round one and then Lara Arruabarrena of Spain in round two, to set up a third round tie against the Danish fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki.

Giorgi is known for her aggressive style and for guiding her shots with precision close to the tramline. She also has a great record against Wozniacki, coming in to Wimbledon having beaten her twice in their last three meeting.

This time, however, she got the jitters. A relentless string of unforced errors as well nine double faults paved the way for a comfortable Wozniacki victory.

In the men’s doubles draw Israel’s Jonathan Ehrlich partnered with Philipp Petzschner of Germany. Since last playing with colleague Andy Ram on the ATP Tour in the Australian Open in January 2014, Erlich has time and again changed partners, recording little success.

Erlich and Petzschner registered a four-set victory over Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Andreas Seppi in round one. They then defeated Scott Lipsky and Treat Huey in straight sets in round two. Lipsky incidentally is also Jewish and at age 35, a US veteran of the doubles game.

The pair then continued their good run, defeating Marcus Daniell and Marcelo Demoliner in round three, in a four set humdinger, winning 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-3, to book a place in the quarter- finals.

South Africans had much to shout about as Kevin Anderson the world number 14, nearly caused a major upset against world number one Novak Djokovic in the fourth round. It was nothing less than a gruelling dog fight, with Anderson hitting some 40 odd aces against the reigning champion. 

Djokovic continuously threw his arms in the air in frustration over the course of the five set match, venting his frustration at being unable to break down the South African. From Djokovic’s side, having rallied from two sets down and being on the verge of defeat, he showed what a true champion he is eventually winning 6-7 6-7 6-1 6-4 7-5.

While Roger Federer is a firm good bet, a strong candidate to go through is home town favourite Andy Murray and if they can overcome their opponents, with Murray playing some of his best tennis and Novak with a reprieve after the Anderson duel, we may yet see one of the finest Wimbledon finals in recent memory.

1 Comment

  1. 1 Denis Solomons 09 Jul
    i think that the last good Jewish tennis player was Jason Gimmelstop ?
    Maybe they would do better if they played with matza balls instead of tennis balls .
    Wasn't Brad Gilbert Jewish ?
    And our own Ilana Kloss was a good player winning Wimbeldon Junior .


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