Dudi Sela 311.
(photo credit: Alastair/AP)
Israel’s campaign to make an immediate return to the Davis Cup World Group will get underway next July with a home tie against Poland.
The blue-and-white were drawn to host the Poles in the second round of the Europe/Africa Zone Group I on Wednesday after both teams were given a first round bye.
The national team will be entering the tie on the back of Sunday’s disappointing 3-2 defeat to Austria, which ended Israel’s three-year run among the world’s top-16 nations.
Poland has never played in the World Group, but will be a very tricky opponent, having two singles players in the top- 100 and three doubles players among the world’s top 11.
“This is a very difficult draw,” Israel’s No. 1 Dudi Sela said. “The Polish team is very good and is just as strong as the Austrian side. It is going to be a very tough tie, but I’m pleased we are playing at home once more.”
Poland, which maintained its Europe/Africa Zone Group I status by beating Latvia 3-2 last weekend, is led by Lukasz Kubot (63), with Michal Przysiezny (89) the country’s second-best ranked singles player.
Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich are also set to face a stern test in the
doubles match, with not only Kubot ranked 10th in the world, but also
Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski playing together regularly on
the ATP circuit and sharing the 11th place in the rankings.
“I’m very happy we have been handed a home tie yet again,” Erlich said.
“I can’t wait for the start of the tie and I hope this time we will
manage to win.”
Meanwhile, the United States will travel to Chile in the first round of
World Group play in the 2011 Davis Cup, its second South American
opponent in a row.
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