Israeli tennis star quits world tour match to avoid playing on Yom Kippur

Out of respect for Judaism’s holiest day and the flag under which he competes, Israeli tennis star David Sela threw in the towel to avoid playing on Yom Kippur.

Israeli tennis player David Sela quit an important match at a crucial point because the holiday of Yom Kippur was set to commence.

Yom Kippur is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.

On Friday afternoon, Sela forfeited his quarterfinal match against Alexandr Dolgopolov, which was played as part of the ATP tour in Shenzhen, China.

The ATP is the governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuits – the ATP World Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour.

Sela lost his first set 6-3, but then won the second set 6-4. During the third set, he approached the judge at told him that he was forced to retire because Yom Kippur had commenced.

Sela’s courageous decision was costly. He fortified the possibility of earning an additional $12,000, in addition to the almost $30,000 he had already guaranteed himself.

It also cost him at least 45 ranking points and altered his world ranking.

Sela’s brother, Ofer, explained in a social media post that Sela was not forced to quit and is not a particularly religious individual, but that he respected the flag he was representing and the holiness of the day.

Similarly in Slovenia, five Israeli players who did not show up for their Paralympics table tennis tournaments on Saturday were penalized with the loss of ranking points.

Carmit Dor, Shai Seyada, Danny Bovrov, Assaf Goffer and Shmulik Shor passed the initial stage of the tournament, but refrained from playing on Yom Kippur, and were penalized for this.

Israel’s Paralympic Movement sent a letter of protest, and Israel’s Minister of Sports Miri Regev may also attempt to intervene in the matter.

By: World Israel News Staff