Israeli juniors Oliel, Krolitzky advance in style

Original Article Published at The Jerusalem Post

Oliel next faces No. 13 seed Nicola Kuhn of Spain for a place in the quarterfinals.

Yshai Oliel continued to show why he is touted as the future of Israeli tennis on Tuesday, advancing to the last 16 of the US Open Junior Boys’ tournament with a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(2) victory over No. 2 seed Alex De Minaur of Australia.

The 16-year-old Israeli saved a match point in the 10th game of the third set and clinched the win after two hours and two minutes.

Oliel, who made a name for himself by capturing both the 12s and 14s titles at the prestigious Junior Orange Bowl International in Florida, is currently ranked No. 39 among juniors, but proved he can compete with the very best against No. 2 De Minaur, who is at No. 614 in the senior rankings.

Oliel next faces No. 13 seed Nicola Kuhn of Spain for a place in the quarterfinals.

Late Monday, it took Shelly Krolitzky only 56 minutes to win her first round junior girls’ singles match.

Strong ground strokes and mental toughness helped Krolitzky cruise to a 6-2, 6-1 victory over American Abigail Desiatnikov, who had previously defeated Krolitzky at the Eddie Herr International Tennis Championship in Bradenton, Florida, this past December.

Krolitzky wasn’t pleased with her performance in her last match against Desiatnikov and vowed to do better.

“It wasn’t my best match. I told myself that this time, I would take every opportunity and take every chance,” the 17-year-old told The Jerusalem Post.

This time, Krolitzky controlled the game, occasionally moving to the net on strong serves.

Krolitzky was extremely pleased with her display in the first round.

“It is an amazing feeling. It is my first Grand Slam. I felt really good in the match and in the warm up before the match. I felt really energetic.”

Krolitzky appeared calm, happy and not particularly tired during the postmatch interview and her mental state was a key factor in her match success.

“I was thinking a lot about this match and meditated a lot beforehand.”

Krolitzky’s coach, Israel veteran Tzipi Obziler – who wasn’t able to accompany Krolitzky to New York – is very proud.

“Shelly is a very talented player, an athlete with strong capabilities. She has made great progress recently, and I hope to see her continue to advance in the junior rankings, play the main draw of Grand Slams and soon begin to play and make progress on the women’s tour. For me it is an honor to be part of the David Squad and to have the opportunity to work individually with Shelly.”

Despite the rigors of playing in a Grand Slam event, Krolitzky is managing to see a little of New York City.

“We went to Chinatown yesterday.

We saw a lot of Israeli people. I didn’t eat anything, but Yshai [Oliel] wanted to buy a watch.”

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