Is­rael white­washed, but Ran finds pos­i­tives

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY JC RE­PORTER

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.”

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