Israel took a 1-0 lead over Portugal in the second round of Europe/Africa Zone Group I Davis Cup tie in Ramat Hasharon on Friday thanks to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win by Dudi Sela over Frederico Gil.
After heartbreakingly missing out on progressing to the World Group last year, Israel entered this weekend’s tie extremely confident of moving back to within one triumph of a place among the world’s top 16 nations.
Israel’s dreams of returning to the Davis Cup World Group after a one-year absence were shattered following a 3-2 home defeat to Canada last September.
"It is very hard to play on this court and I also had a little luck in the second set," Sela said. "The result makes the match looks easier than it was. I think we have a good chance to take this tie."