Israel's Davis Cup players find out who they are up against

The Serbia-Montenegro squad consists of two singles players ranked above Israel's best.

ram , erlich 88 (photo credit: )
ram , erlich 88
(photo credit: )
Serbia-Montenegro Davis Cup captain Dejan Petrovic named his squad for next week's Europe/Africa Zone Group I tie against Israel, leaving out his top-ranked singles player, Boris Pashanski, who is ranked 65th in the world. Nevertheless, the Serbia-Montenegro squad consists of two singles players ranked above Israel's best and a doubles specialist, making it the favorite for the best-of-five tie, at least on paper. The Serbian squad, which is scheduled to arrive on Sunday, is made up of Novak Djokovic (81), Janko Tipsarevic (128), Ilia Bozoljac (215) and Nenad Zimonjic (11 in doubles). The Serbian delegation will be made up of some 20 people, including its tennis association president. The Israeli team, consisting of Dudi Sela (170), Noam Okun (197) and doubles partners Andy Ram (16) and Yoni Erlich (16) will begin full practices with captain Eyal Ran and coach Ronen Morali at the site of the event, the tennis center in Ramat Hasharon, on Thursday. Ram and Erlich have been fine-tuning their skills with Ran for most of the week, while Sela and Okun tried their luck at the Zagreb Indoors tournament in Croatia. Okun qualified for the first round, where he lost to Italian Andreas Seppi 6-2, 6-4, while Sela fell in the third and final round of qualifying. "We are highly motivated and the training is going well," Ram said of his and Erlich's preparations. "We don't get a chance do play at home that often and it's always special to play in front of Israeli crowds. We are one of the best pairs in the world and we are in good form right now. We hope to display our best tennis here and not just abroad." The tie begins with two singles matches next Friday.