Glushko, Pe’er propel Israel in Eilat opener

Israel gets Europe/Africa Zone Group I Pool B campaign off to a perfect start, beating Luxembourg 3-0 in Eilat.

SHAHAR PE’ER 311 (photo credit: AP)
(photo credit: AP)
Israel got its Europe/Africa Zone Group I Pool B campaign off to a perfect start on Wednesday, beating Luxembourg 3-0 in Eilat.
Julia Glushko, ranked at a career-best No. 205 in the world, gave the national team an important lead with a 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 win over Anne Kremer (169) before Shahar Pe’er (11) clinched the victory with a 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Mandy Minella (137).
Pe’er and Glushko then teamed-up to beat Minella and Tiffany Cornelius 6-1, 6-1 in the doubles match, ensuring Israel will enter Thursday’s tie against Poland top of Pool B.
“Hopefully we can continue this way,” Pe’er said.
“Julia’s win took a lot of the pressure off me, but I’m not pleased with the way I played. I’ve always said that it is difficult for me to play in here in Israel because I’m so desperate to show the local crowd what I do all year.”
Glushko struggled to play consistently well against Kremer, but showed her potential when she found her rhythm.
“I had a lot of ups and downs, but I’m glad I clinched it in the third set,” Glushko said. “It’s the most amazing experience to play with ‘Israel’ printed on your shirt.”
Glushko is scheduled to face Magda Linette (171) in Thursday’s first match, with Pe’er to come up against Agnieszka Radwanska (10) in what should be a high-level showdown before the concluding doubles encounter.
“It was very important to win 3-0,” Israel captain Lior Mor said. “The tie against Poland is a completely different story. They have a superb No. 1 player and a pretty good No. 2 as well. Hopefully we can play as well as we did in the doubles today and we should be fine.”
In other Israeli tennis news from Wednesday, after beginning 2011 with three straight defeats, Dudi Sela finally recorded his first win of the year on Wednesday, defeating Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the first round of the SA Open in Johannesburg.
Sela next faces South Africa’s Kevin Anderson.