Glushko, Sela new Israeli champs
Dudi Sela, Julia Glushko 311
(photo credit: (Israel Tennis Association))
Julia Glushko ended Shahar Pe’er’s five-year reign as Israel champion with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 victory.
Julia Glushko ended Shahar Pe’er’s five-year reign as Israel champion on Friday, recording a convincing 6-3, 6-4 victory over her Fed Cup teammate in the final of the national championships in Ra’anana.After winning just three games against Pe’er in the 2009 final and pushing Israel’s No. 1 to a third set last year, Glushko dominated her illustrious rival on Friday on the way to her first career Israel title.“I would be lying if I said I thought I’d beat Shahar in straight sets,” said an emotional Glushko (No. 206 in the world).“I believed in myself more this year after coming so close last time. I played well throughout the match and I hope that I can build on this victory when I begin my season in China before playing in the Australian Open qualifiers. This win gives me a lot of confidence and I hope I can play like this throughout the year.” Despite losing in the Israel championships for the first time since 2005 and failing to claim her eighth national title, Pe’er wasn’t too disappointed with Friday’s defeat.“I lost and that’s no tragedy,” Pe’er (37) said. “The Israel championships are important to me, but I have more important goals. I’ve only just come back from injury and I lost because I made most of the mistakes. “However, there is no shame in losing to someone who played better than you.”There was no surprise in the men’s final, with Dudi Sela (83) avenging last year’s defeat and winning his third national title with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Amir Weintraub (206).Sela stuttered his way into the final, but he was in complete control on Friday and fully deserved to lift his third national title.“I’m happy to be Israel champion again,” Sela said. “However, this isn’t a match which will have any implications on the upcoming season. I’m facing some very important tournaments in Australia and I hope to succeed there.“The work with my new coach Yoav Ben-Zvi is paying off and I’m feeling much better on court.”