(photo credit: AP)
Israel was just one match win away from clinching a spot in a Davis Cup World Group playoff after sweeping two singles matches against Italy at the Ramat Hasharon Tennis Center on Friday.
In the opening rubber of the best-of-five Europe/Africa Zone Group 1 tie, Dudi Sela defeated Andreas Seppi 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 3-6, 6-3.
Then, Noam Okun, who is No. 171 in the ATP singles rankings, beat Simone Bolelli (111) 7-5, 7-5, 6-4 to set up a possible tie-clinching doubles rubber on Saturday.
"It was an amazing match," said Okun on Channel 1. "The atmosphere in the stadium was incredible."
After taking a two-set lead, Sela (202) was treated for cramps in his left leg during the third set, and dropped the next two sets to the higher-ranked Seppi (91).
Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich, who are No. 7 in the ATP Doubles Race, are scheduled to face, and will be favored to beat, Daniele Bracciali and Potito Starace, on Saturday.