Israel wins on stormy day in Eilat

Shahar Pe'er among Israeli winners in victory over Turkey.

Shahar Pe'er 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Shahar Pe'er 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel opened its Europe/Africa Zone Group I matches in Eilat on the right foot on Wednesday, beating Turkey 2-1.
The morning ties were all postponed on Wednesday due to the rare storm that struck Israel’s southernmost city and the blue-and-white’s encounter began an hour late until the courts were finally deemed ready.
Julia Glushko, ranked No. 181 in the world, was far from her best against Pemra Ozgen (284) in the opening match, but still managed to tough out a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
Shahar Pe’er (91) encountered far more trouble against Cagla Buyukakcay (163), eventually claiming a 1-6, 6-1, 7-6 (3) win after coming back from 2-5 down in the third set and saving a match point in the 10th game.
Pe’er and Glushko were rested in the doubles match, with new Israel captain Amos Mansdorf electing to use Keren Shlomo and Valeria Patiuk, who lost 6-2, 6-1 to Basak Eraydin and Ipek Soylu.
After barely overcoming the weakest team in Pool C, Israel faces Romania and its three top-50 players, Sorana Cirstea (27), Irina-Camelia Begu (47) and Simona Halep (49) on Thursday.
Romania lost 2-1 to Poland on Wednesday.
Only the pool winner will progress to a tie against the first-place finisher in Pool A for a place in April’s World Group II playoffs.