Tunisian tennis player quits before facing Israeli

A Tunisian player retires from a match after winning the first set in a French tournament Wednesday, citing an injury that keeps him from facing an Israeli in the next round.

Malek Jaziri quits after winning the first set 6-3 against sixth-seeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan in the first round of the Open Sud de France.

Tournament organizers say in an email to The Associated Press that Jaziri, who called for a trainer twice during the match, “suffered again from an elbow injury he picked up” at the Australian Open.

Had Jaziri beaten Istomin, he would have played Israel’s Dudi Sela in the next round.

Israel's Dudi Sela during a Davis Cup match. (photo credit: Uri Lenz/ FLASH90)
Israel’s Dudi Sela during a Davis Cup match. (photo credit: Uri Lenz/ FLASH90)

The 65th-ranked Jaziri, who lost in the third round at the Australian Open, also withdrew from the doubles, where he would have faced an Israeli opponent. He and Spanish partner Marc Lopez had been set to play Jonathan Erlich of Israel and Cermak Frantisek of Czech Republic in the quarterfinals.

Both the ATP and the Tunisian tennis federation did not reply to emails and phone calls seeking comment.

In 2013, Tunisia’s tennis federation ordered Jaziri to withdraw from a match against Israeli opponent Amir Weintraub at a second-tier tournament in Uzbekistan. Jaziri had been scheduled to play Israel’s Amir Weintraub in the quarterfinals of the ATP Challenger tournament in Tashkent. He withdrew before the match.

The ITF subsequently banned Tunisia from the 2014 Davis Cup, saying that the Tunisian federation was guilty of “interfering with international sporting practice.”

Associated Press

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