Yshai Oliel marches into second round

Patrik Rikl (CZE) and Yshai Oliel (ISR)

These days, 16-year-old Israeli Yshai Oliel enters junior tournaments knowing he is a reigning Grand Slam champion having won the Roland Garros doubles title with Patrik Rikl in June.

But Oliel, who as the fifth seed at the Abierto Juvenil Mexicano this week won his first round match 6:1 6:1 against Brazilian qualifier Joao Ferreira on Tuesday, is not a new name in the game.

The talented left-hander first came to notice for winning the 12-and-under and 14-and-under Orange Bowl titles in 2012 and 2014, respectively. The fact that he was a young boy with hair that swept below his shoulders helped to catch the eye of many – he recently did the unthinkable and had a haircut, donating his hair to a charity that makes wigs for children with cancer.

Oliel, who is currently enjoying a career high ranking of No. 30, is member of the David Squad, a group of Israeli Jewish and Arab tennis hopefuls funded by British-Jewish real estate businessman and philanthropist David Coffer. The term David Squad, however, doesn’t refer to the gentleman incurring the financial burden to give these teens a shot at their dream, but to Israel’s historical King David.

Read the full article by Sandra Harwitt on the International Tennis Federation site here.