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Photo by: Asaf Kliger
Ram appears healthy for Israel’s Davis Cup duel with France
By ALLON SINAI
23/01/2013
The 32-year-old injured his hip during Israel’s 3-2 victory over Japan in the World Group playoffs in September and hasn’t played since.
 
After four months out through injury, Andy Ram believes he will be fit to play for Israel in its Davis Cup World Group tie against France on February 1-3.

The 32-year-old injured his hip during Israel’s 3-2 victory over Japan in the World Group playoffs in September and hasn’t played since.

Ram underwent surgery to repair the muscle tear in his right hip joint in Vail, Colorado, in October and promised on Wednesday that he will be ready to team-up with Yoni Erlich in next weekend’s tie in Rouen, France.

“I’m doing much better now,” Ram said. “I’m going to fly out with the team as always, I’m going to play with Yoni as always and I hope to claim a win as always.

“There is no reason for concern, I will play. And if I don’t, it will only be because someone played better than me in training.”

Israel enters the tie as a massive underdog, with France’s squad boasting world No. 8 Jo Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet (10) and veterans Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra, who are set to play in the doubles.

“We would be lying to ourselves if we said we expect to win this tie,” said Amir Weintraub, who will play in the singles matches once more together with Dudi Sela.

“We will still give our all in the hope that our fighting spirit will be enough to pull us through.”

Israel’s Fed Cup team also held a press conference on Wednesday ahead of its matches in Europe/Africa Zone Group I, which will be played in Eilat between February 6-9.

Israel, which was drawn to face Poland, Romania and Turkey in Pool C, will need to finish first to advance to a tie against another of the three pool winners for a place in April’s World Group II playoffs.

“Our realistic goal is to avoid relegation and remain in Group I,” admitted Shahar Pe’er. “We are still not a team which deserves a place in the World Group.”

Pe’er, who won her first match in six months at the Australian Open last week before losing in the second round, was also very candid regarding her struggles.

“I still love what I do and I’m working hard and I hope that things will get better soon,” said Pe’er, who has dropped to No. 90 in the world.

“I haven’t played well in a long time and that can’t be changed overnight. You need to be patient and have faith in yourself.

“Things will come together at some stage, but I don’t know if it will be in a week, a month or a year.”
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