ram erlich 88.
(photo credit: )
Israel number one Dudi Sela will face Janko Tipsarevic in the opening match of the Davis Cup tie against Serbia-Montenegro this Friday at the tennis center in Ramat Hasharon.
In the draw, which was held on Wednesday evening at the home of the Serbian ambassador in Herzylia, it was also decided that the second match of the day will be played between Noam Okun and the Serbian's number one Novak Djokovic.
"He's [Tipsarevic] a very good friend of mine, but I hope that with the help of the crowd we will win our matches on Friday and get off to a good start", said Sela (ranked 170) after hearing of the draw. Tipsarevic (127) and Sela played each other many times in the junior ranks and the Serbian is expecting difficult matches over the weekend. "Our single players may be ranked higher then Israel's, but in a Davis Cup tie the rankings are meaningless.
Israel will have a big support and it will be very difficult for us because home advantage means a lot in the Davis Cup."
The doubles match will be played on Saturday between Israeli pair Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich and the Serbian duo of Ilia Bozoljac (180) and Victor Troicki (336).
The last day of play will take place on Sunday when number ones Sela and Djokovic (70) face each other in the first match of the day followed by the possibly decisive last match of the tie between Okun (196) and Tipsarevic.
"I hope it doesn't come down to a decisive fifth match and that we win the tie before I play on Sunday," Okun said. "I've been in this type of situation a in the past and it's very difficult and nerve wrecking, I hope it will turn out for the best."
The winner of the tie will move on to play Great Britain in April for a right to advance to the World Group qualifying.
The losing team will face the loser of the upcoming tie between Belgium and Ukraine in a relegation tie later this year.
Pe'er wins again
Also on Wednesday, Israeli Shahar Pe'er advanced to the quarter finals of the Pattaya Open in Thailand defeating Maria Sanchez Lorenzo of Spain 7-6, 6-3.
Pe'er will face another Spaniard in the quarter finals, after Lourdes Dominguez Lino defeated Aiko Nakamura 6-2, 6-0 to set up a meeting with Pe'er.
Israel number one Anna Smashnova will be back in action in Paris on Thursday when she meets world number seven Nadia Petrova in her second round match at the Open Gaz de France.