Israeli tennis star Dudi Sela.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Dudi Sela continued his excellent form on Tuesday night, beating Sam Groth of Australia 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4 to advance to the second round of the Washington Open.
The 29-year-old Israeli, who reached an ATP Tour final for the second time in his career in Atlanta earlier this week, faced an extremely tough opponent in world No. 14 Richard Gasquet in the second round on Wednesday night.
Sela’s (88) recent form is great news for Israel’s Davis Cup team ahead of September’s World Group playoff tie against Argentina.
However, besides the uncertainty regarding where Israel will host the tie due to the security situation, there is also doubt as to the fitness of the team’s No. 2 player Amir Weintraub.
The 27-year-old has played just one match in two months due to a groin injury and underwent surgery on Sunday after unsuccessfully trying to overcome the pain with injections.
Weintraub will only return to training in three weeks, not leaving him long to regain match fitness ahead of the tie against Argentina which will be played over the weekend of September 12-14.
“I’m going through a very difficult period in the past few months,” said Weintraub (200), who sustained the injury during Israel’s Davis Cup tie against Slovenia in April. “I can’t play, I’m in pain, my ranking has plummeted and my career is in danger.”
Weintraub said he would do whatever he can to take part in the Davis Cup tie.
“I really want to play for Israel in September,” he said. “I have risked my personal career in the past to play for Israel and I hope I will be fit for the tie.”
Should Weintraub be unable to play against Argentina, Israel captain Eyal Ran will likely have to turn to an inexperienced youngster of the likes of Bar Botzer (723), Tal Goldengoren (779) or Dekel Bar (809).