The 2008 Sporting Calendar

January 8: Israeli soccer fans will know when and where the national team will play its 2010 World Cup qualifiers, as the order of the matches will be decided in a meeting in Tel Aviv between representatives of Israel, Greece, Switzerland, Moldova, Latvia and Luxemburg. 10-20: Athens Olympics gold medal winner Gal Fridman will need an outstanding performance at the windsurfing World Championships in New Zealand or he could miss out of the Beijing games. 14-27: Shahar Pe'er will be hoping to repeat her quarterfinals performance from 2007 in the year's first tennis Grand Slam at Melbourne. 21-30: Udi Gal and Gidi Kliger will be looking for their third straight medal at the 470 Class World Championships in Melbourne. February 2-3: Israel's Fed Cup team hosts defending champion Russia at Ramat Hasharon in its first ever World Group tie. 4-7: Maccabi Tel Aviv will be looking to regain the basketball State Cup after its surprise loss last season. 8-10: Israel's Davis Cup side hosts Sweden in its first World Group tie in 14 years. March 7-9: Alex Averbukh will continue his tune-up for the Olympic Games at the World Athletics Indoor Championships. 13-24: Israel's swimmers will have their final chance to book a place in Beijing at the European Swimming Championships in Eindhoven, Holland. April 3-6: Arik Ze'evi and Israel's top judokas will take part in the European Judo Championships in Lisbon. 15: National Stadium at Ramat Gan will host the four State Cup semifinalists May 2-4: Maccabi Tel Aviv fans will be hoping to be in Madrid to watch their team in the Euroleague Final Four. 13: President Shimon Peres will present the soccer State Cup for the first time. 26: The French Open gets under way at Roland Garros. June 7: There won't be any Israelis in action in Switzerland on this day, but it's still worth mentioning that the Euro 2008 soccer tournament begins. Switzerland plays the Czech Republic in the opener. 23: Wimbledon starts and Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich will look to reach the semifinals at the All England Club for the second time in their career while Dudi Sela and Shahar Pe'er will also be raring to go. August 8-24: The Olympic Games in Beijing. The greatest sporting event on earth. 27: The final Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year begins in New York. September 6-17: Israel will be expected to return with a massive medal haul from the Paralympic Games in Beijing.