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Israeli Tour Players Are Watching Closely Events Back Home







Israeli players are keeping a watchful eye on events back in their homeland while playing ATP events.

There has been increasing conflict this month between Israel and Hamas, which has seen both sides launching air strikes against each other. Dudi Sela, Israel's top-ranked singles player, and doubles player Jonathan Erlich are both at Washington this week. But both are also in frequent contact with family in their homes at Tel Aviv.

Sela's wife is caring for their newborn. "It’s not easy to take a baby to a shelter at 3 in the morning,” Sela said. “Almost all day long I get messages and calls about what’s going on."

Erlich brought his wife and children with him on tour once conflict began, but is still following events there and keeping in touch with his family.

"You’re online all day long to see what’s going on, especially in the beginning when we didn’t know where everything was going,” he said. “Now we more or less know what’s going on, but that first week, you never knew what was happening and so many rockets were coming in."

Sela, who reached the final of Atlanta a week ago, finds he is also motivated to play for Israel and those who attend tournaments to watch him.

"Especially here in the States, so many people are coming to watch,” said the 28-year-old. “It’s special to hear Hebrew from the crowd. Not all of the players get that."

There are no guarantees that the 28-year-old can play in the US Open, with his condition to be re-assessed in the coming weeks.

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