Is­rael closes in on World Group re­turn

The Jewish Chronicle - - Sport - BY SI­MON GRIVER

Is­rael have reached the Davis Cup World Group pro­mo­tion play­offs af­ter beat­ing Por­tu­gal in the Europe/africa Zone Group tie at Ra­mat Hasharon.

Is­rael marched into an unas­sail­able lead af­ter Dudi Sela, Amir Wein­traub and dou­bles spe­cial­ists Andy Ram and Jonathan Er­lich won their matches in front of a crowd that in­cluded Gi­lat Shalit.

Sela (61) helped Is­rael make a fly­ing start af­ter beat­ing Fred­erico Gil (84).

Wein­traub (190) con­tin­ued the good work, com­ing from a set down to sur­prise Rui Machado (97) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, 7-5.

It was left to Ram and Er­lich to ce­ment vic­tory and they made no mis- take, beat­ing Joao Sousa and Gas­tao Elias 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.

Wein­traub said: “I couldn’t have done it with­out the sup­port of the rest of the team and the crowd re­ally lifted me when it mat­tered.”

Er­lich­com­mented:“it’sfor­mo­ments like this that I’m still play­ing ten­nis. It’s fan­tas­tic to play in front of our home crowd.”

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