Tzipi Obziler 298.88.
(photo credit: Courtesy Photo)
Tzipi Obziler advanced to the quarterfinals of the $175,000 Guangzhou tournament in China on Thursday, defeating Elena Vesnina of Russia 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
The 33-year-old Israeli, who is 130th in the WTA rankings, has never reached a semifinal of a WTA tournament in her career and will need to upset local favorite Na Li (20) in the quarterfinals if she is to do it for the first time this weekend.
Vesnina (51) was the sharper player at the start of the match, grabbing a 5-1 lead and holding on to win the set. Obziler broke in the seventh game of the second set and went on to win the next two games to wrap up the set. The Israeli continued to control the match in the third set, taking a 5-2 lead before splitting the last two games.
Israel draws Luxembourg in Davis Cup
Israel has been drawn to host Luxembourg in the first round of the Davis Cup Europe/Africa Zone Group I in Rome.
The first round tie will be played the weekend of February 10-12, 2007.
Israel will be heavily favored against Luxembourg, which has only one player ranked in the ATP top 1,000, Gilles Muller.
Should Israel win in February, it would then host Italy on April 7-9.
"I think this is a very reasonable draw," Israel captain Eyal Ran commented following Thursday's draw. "It is very pleasing to know that we will be playing at home, it definitely gives us the edge. We are favorites, but in the Davis Cup anything can happen."
Federer's Switzerland to face Nadal's Spain
Switzerland will host Spain in the first round of next year's Davis Cup, setting the stage for another duel between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Spain's Nadal holds a 6-2 edge over the top-ranked Federer, including a win in this year's French Open final. In their last meeting, Federer beat Nadal in this year's Wimbledon final.
In other matches, the Czech Republic hosts the 31-time champion United States while 28-time winner Australia travels to Belgium in the first round of next year's 16-team elite World Group.
Also, 2005 champion Croatia was drawn away against Germany.
AP contributed to this report.