Yshai Oliel .
(photo credit: ALEX GOLDENSTEIN/ISRAEL TENNIS ASSOCIATION)
While it may not have been an official debut, Yshai Oliel’s first Davis Cup experience on Sunday will be remembered as a success after he defeated Sweden’s Markus Eriksson 6-4, 6-4 at Ramat Hasharon.
Israel had already secured a victory over Sweden and another year in Group I by taking an unassailable 3-0 lead on Saturday.
Israel will visit Portugal in the first round of Group I next February.
The tie against Sweden ended at 3-1 following Edan Leshem’s 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 loss to Isak Arvidsson in Sunday’s first match.
Israel captain Eyal Ran and his counterpart Fredrik Rosengren agreed that the fifth rubber would not be played and an unofficial match would be held instead, allowing Oliel to play even though he wasn’t named in Israel’s four-man roster.
Oliel (912), who has long been heralded as the future of Israeli tennis and will only celebrate his 17th birthday in January, impressed against an opponent who is 10 years his senior and ranked 456 places above him.
“This is an amazing feeling,” said Oliel. “I’m really happy with the way I played. Thanks to the team and to Eyal for giving me a chance. I’ll work hard to succeed and to continue and represent Israel in the future.”