Israeli tennis star Julia Glushko in action.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel’s Fed Cup team will face a decisive tie against relegation to Europe/Africa Zone Group II should it fail to defeat Latvia in Group I Pool D action in Budapest, Hungary on Friday.
After falling to Croatia in its opener, the blue-and-white suffered its second straight 3-0 thrashing on Thursday, this time at the hands of Belgium.
Shahar Pe’er sat out the singles matches once more due to an ankle injury and Alona Pushkarevsky, ranked No. 1,148 in the world, never really had any hope against Alison Van Uytvanck (102) in the first encounter of the day, losing 6-0, 6-3. Julia Glushko (146) didn’t last long on court either against Yanina Wickmayer (66), losing 6-3, 6-2.
Pe’er finally entered the fray in the doubles encounter, but her cooperation with Glushko would also end in disappointment, with the duo dropping to a 6-1, 6-3 defeat to Van Uytvanck and An-Sophie Mestach.
Latvia has also lost both its ties to date against Belgium and Croatia, but at least managed to win a match in a 2-1 defeat to the Croats on Thursday. Latvia is led by Diana Marcinkevica (262) and Jelena Ostapenko (266) and Pe’er is expected to play in both the singles and the doubles on Friday.
Meanwhile, the ATP said on Thursday that it will look into the suspicious withdrawal of Tunisian Malek Jaziri in Montpelier, France to determine whether it had anything to do with the fact he was due to face Israel’s Dudi Sela in the second round.
Sela (87) played Denis Istomin (61) of Uzbekistan late Thursday night after Jaziri pulled out of his first round match against Istomin despite winning the first set 6-3.
In 2013, Jaziri withdrew from the Tashkent Challenger tournament before his match against Israel’s Amir Weintraub. Tunisia was ultimately suspended from the 2014 Davis Cup competition after it was found that the country’s tennis federation had ordered Jaziri to pull out.
“The official reason for Jaziri’s retirement in Montpelier was an elbow injury as verified by the ATP physiotherapist on-site,” the ATP said.
“However, given a previous incident involving the player’s national federation in 2013, we are looking into any wider circumstances of his withdrawal as a matter of prudence.”
A shoulder injury was initially given on Wednesday as the reason for Jaziri’s withdrawal.