Israel whitewashed, but Ran finds positives
TENNIS EYAL Ran insists Israel’s youngsters will learn from their Davis Cup humbling at the hands of Portugal as the team’s hopes of returning to the World Group were destroyed.
An injury to Amir Weintraub saw Yshai Oliel, runner-up in the Boys’ Singles at the Australian Open last week, play the opening match but the teenager was swept aside by the powerful Joao Sousa who won 6-1, 6-1, 6-2.
Experienced campaigner Dudi Sela gave Israel hope in the second match, taking the first set off Gastao Elia, but Elia battled back to win 1-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.
Needing to win the third match to keep the tie alive, Sela paired up with Jonathan Erlich in the doubles but they were beaten in a thrilling five-star contest by Sousa and Elia.
With the tie lost, Ran gave Daniel Cukierman, ranked 528 in the world, an opportunity to gain experience. He was beaten 6-2, 6-0 by Frederico Ferreira Silva while Oliel went down by the same margin against Sousa.
Israel coach Ran said :“We threw Yshai into the deep end. He showed he has a lot of ability but needs time to mature.
“He is a player with enormous potential and talent and I’m sure he learned a lot in these games.”