(photo credit: NIR KEIDAR)
While Israel’s Davis Cup team will generally want to quickly forget about the defeat to Hungary in the first round of Group I this past weekend, 19-year-old Edan Leshem will forever look back at the tie with fond memories.
Israel fell to an unassailable 3-0 deficit against Hungary on Saturday, with Yoni Erlich and Dudi Sela losing in the doubles match after Sela and Amir Weintraub suffered two humbling defeats in the singles rubbers in the opening day of action on Friday.
With nothing to play for on Sunday, captain Eyal Ran afforded Leshem, ranked No. 566 in the world, another opportunity to gain Davis Cup experience and he responded by claiming his first win in the competition, beating Gabor Borsos (809) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6.
Weintraub (197) then defeated Peter Nagy (612) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 to make the final score-line slightly more respectable.
Nevertheless, Israel will be in danger of dropping to Group II for the first time since 2001 should it lose to Sweden in September in the first round playoff of Group I, with the winner to maintain its status, while the loser will play a tie against relegation.
In other Davis Cup action, John Isner fended off Australia’s Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 on Sunday to book the United States a berth in the quarterfinals for the first time in three years.
The world number 11’s win on a steamy afternoon at Melbourne’s Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club sealed the tie 3-1 with a singles rubber in hand, while silencing a raucous crowd of yellow-clad fans.
“Our team prepared very, very well and I think it showed out here,” Isner, who closed out the contest with his 49th ace on match point, said courtside.Reuters contributed to this report