Tennis: Ram-Erlich beat Aspelin-Lindstedt in Davis Cup

Israeli doubles duo wins pulsating match 6-3, 7-6, 7-5; Sela beats Bjorkman; Harel Levy crushed by Thomas Johansson.

sela 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
sela 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Israel's Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich beat Swedish duo Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt in their Davis Cup tie at Ramat Hasharon on Saturday. The Israeli pair won a pulsating match 6-3, 7-6, 7-5. On Friday, Israel's Dudi Sela (67) beat Jonas Bjorkman (71) in the first match of the tie. Israel's No. 1 defeated the 35-year-old Swede 7-6 (8), 6-3, 6-1. It was a fantastic victory for Sela against a player who was ranked as high as No. 4 in the world in 1997. In Friday's second match, Harel Levy (152) lost to Thomas Johansson (60). Johansson, who at his best in 2002 was ranked at No. 7 in the world, crushed the Israeli 6-1, 6-1, 6-3. Being unseeded in the draw for the last 16, Israel couldn't have really asked to receive a better opponent, but saying all that, anything short of the team's very best will not be enough to defeat a Swedish side which reached the last four of the competition last year. In Sunday's reverse singles, Sela is set to play Johansson in the first match of the day, with Levy to face Bjorkman in the final match of the tie. Sweden, which is captained by tennis legend Mats Wilander, lost 4-1 to the USA in the semifinals of the competition last year, in its first appearance in the last four in six years. The Swedes have played in the World Group every year apart from 2000, winning the title six times in the 1980's and 1990's, with their last triumph coming in 1998.