The Original Article Published On The Jerusalem Post

A difficult day for the youngster

NEW YORK – Yshai Oliel’s US Open run was cut short Tuesday with shocking second-round upsets in both juniors singles and doubles.

In late afternoon action, the Israeli No. 6 seed lost to Uisung Park of South Korea 5-7, 6-4, 6-0, with the final set lasting only 22 minutes.

Then, under the lights and with the wind kicking up, just a few steps from Arthur Ashe Stadium where the crowd was cheering on women’s quarterfinalists Venus Williams and Petra Kvitova, Oliel and Russian Alexey Zakharov, the seventh-seeded duo, were sent packing in just 58 minutes by the unseeded team of Alafia Ayeni of the US and Jakub Paul of Switzerland 6-2, 6-4.

In singles, Oliel and Park exchanged hard hit groundstrokes from the baseline in the first two sets before Park pounced, quickly closing out the third set.

After a short rest to change clothes, Oliel was back in action for doubles, where he didn’t fare any better.

He spoke with The Jerusalem Post at the conclusion of both disappointing matches.

“They were both tough matches. In singles, I played well in the first set. In the second and third sets, I didn’t focus on my serve and he broke me both times in the first game of the set.”

Oliel felt he wasn’t aggressive enough and had a lot of pressure on himself. “He played well and I missed too much – and he was just better than me in the third set.”

The 17-year-old from Ramle felt the doubles match followed a similar script.

“They were aggressive and didn’t miss much.”

Oliel noted that the match was closer than they score may indicate.

“We had like eight deuces,” he said In juniors doubles, there is no “ad” scoring. At deuce, the one additional point is played to decide the game with the receiving team deciding which player will receive the serve.

For now, Oliel will rest, return home to Israel, and join his classmates for the start of the academic year. He was not selected to participate on Israel’s Davis Cup team, which will be hosting Ukraine September 15-17.

The team will include Dudi Sela, Jonathan Erlich, Edan Leshem and Mor Bulis.

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Original Article Published On The Jerusalem Post

“In this kind of match and with this type of opponent, confidence was tough.”

NEW YORK – Diego Schwartzman’s magical run at the US Open came to an abrupt end on Tuesday when he encountered Pablo Carreno Busta in the quarterfinals during the day session at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Carreno Busta defeated Schwartzman in two hours 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in their first-ever meeting.

Even the soccer chants of the Argentinian fans, which had lifted fellow countrymen Juan Martin del Potro to victory on Monday from two sets down, did not help Schwartzman, who proved unable to convert on multiple break-point opportunities, winning only two of ten. Carreno Busta won six of eight break points and kept Schwartzman back at the baseline throughout the match.

“In this kind of match and with this type of opponent, confidence was tough,” said Schwartzman, who was very encouraged by his overall performance in New York. “I am really happy to play there in the Arthur Ashe and in the Grandstand and many courts here in the tournament. The crowd this year was amazing. Many Argentinians, many people from here. It was really good.”

Carreno Busta will next face either American Sam Querrey or big-serving Kevin Anderson of South Africa, who played their quarterfinal later on Tuesday.

Israel’s Oliel advances in junior doubles Take four hard hitting junior boys from Brazil, Russia and Israel. Put them on a fast, hard court surface on a sunny Labor Day afternoon in New York. Add hard serves and ground strokes, precision volleys, offensive and defensive lobs, occasional drop shots, and extraordinary athleticism.

It is anybody’s game. Israel’s Yshai Oliel and Alexey Zakharov, the No. 7 seeds, came out on top, narrowly outplaying the Brazilian duo of Igor Gimenez and Matheus Pucinelle De Almeida 6-4, 7-5 in just over an hour on Monday night.

In the first set, teams held serve for the first four games before exchanging breaks.

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The Original Article Published On The Jerusalem Post

Schwartzman is loving the New York crowd, which has cheered for him throughout his matches so far.

NEW YORK – Diego Schwartzman is having the time of his life in the Big Apple. He hasn’t been to a Broadway show or a Yankees game, but he has twice been to the Grandstand at the US Open and stunned two of the tournament’s top players over the weekend.

Schwartzman – the 25-year-old Jewish Argentine – defeated No. 5 seed Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 on Friday and returned to the same court on Sunday to knock out No. 16 Lucas Pouille of France 7-6(3), 7-5, 2-6, 6-2 in his first career Grand Slam fourth round match.

Schwartzman advances to the quarterfinals and faces Pablo Carrreno Busta of Spain, who defeated Israeli-born Canadian Denis Shapovalov in straight sets earlier in the day on Sunday.

Schwartzman played catch up in the first two sets. He overcame a 3-1 deficit in the first set, tying at 3-3, never ahead until taking the tie-breaker 7-3.

In the second set, Schwartzman was down 4-2, then fought back to win three straight games and closing out the set 7-5.

After dropping the third set, Schwartzman closed out the fourth set in a quick 30 minutes.

Schwartzman is loving the New York crowd, which has cheered for him throughout his matches so far.

“They are helping a lot in the matches. When it’s a tough moment in the match, they are making noise with me, just to be with me in the match. I am really happy for that and thank everyone for doing that.”

Schwartzman is looking forward to playing his first Grand Slam quarterfinal against Busta in Arthur Ashe stadium.

The winner of their match will play in the semifinals against either Sam Querrey or Kevin Anderson.

Meanwhile, in the juniors tournament, Israel’s Yshai Oliel cruised to a 6-4, 6-4 first-round victory over American wild-card Ryan Goetz.

“I was happy with how I played and hope to continue like that,” said Oliel, who is seeded sixth at the event.

The 17-year-old lefty from Ramle is currently ranked No. 11 in the world for juniors and No. 890 for men.

“I was a little tight in the beginning of the match,” said Oliel to The Jerusalem Post. “I started feeling better and better every game.”

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The Original Article Published On The Jerusalem Post

“The Jerusalem Post” spoke to tennis star Madison Brengle about her first round of the US Open and religion.

NEW YORK – With Shahar Peer’s retirement in February after reaching a career high No. 11 tennis ranking in 2011 and Julia Glushko’s fall from a high of 79 in 2014 to her current slot at 252, Jewish tennis fans are left to wonder just how many women occupy the top 100.

American Madison Brengle No. 81 spoke to The Jerusalem Post about her 6-2, 6-3 loss to Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium in the first round of the US Open, and about religion. Asked about being the only Jew in the top 100, she quickly interrupted.

“Isn’t Giorgi? She is in the top 100? There is a Jewish reporter who hunts down me and Camila [Italian Camila Giorgi No. 69], so I just assumed…”

Other top 100 players with unconfirmed Jewish roots include Ukrainian Elina Svitolina (4) and Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland (28).

Brengle, born and raised in Dover, Delaware notes that her mother is Jewish and her father is not.

“My brother and I feel like we kind of double dipped – we just did a bit of everything – we called it double dipping.”

While she and her brother “went to a little bit of religious school,” travel and tournaments got in the way of celebrating bat mitzva. Brengle reports, “We do Hanukka, but we are super casual.”

Brengle has not yet been to Israel, though she is good friends with Julia Glushko. We have been friends since age 10. We have known each other forever. She is really cool.”

Perhaps Brengle can help her good friend climb back in to the Jewish Top-100 club.

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