Israel return to Davis Cup World Group

By Danny Caro, September 18, 2012

Israel returned to the Davis Cup World Group following a thrilling 3-2 victory over Japan in Tokyo.

Amir Weintraub was the star of the show after winning the decisive rubber to cement victory.

Weintraub succeeded where Dudi Sela had failed, winning both his singles matches, and with Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich winning the doubles, Israel defied the odds to bounce back into the elite group.

Ram and Erlich had put Israel 2-1 with a four-set victory over Tatsuma Ito and Yuichi Sugita, but Japan levelled when Sela lost his second match, going down in five sets against Kel Nishikori.

But Weintraub held his nerve to beat Go Soeda in four sets and wrap up a memorable win.

A delighted Weintraub said: ""After the way I played Friday, I knew anything was possible."

Weintraub, 25, overcame injury, helped by a stoppage for rain which resulted on the roof going on, to give Israeli tennis a much-needed boost.

"I hurt my right hamstring in the third set," he said. "The break really helped me. I got treatment and was able to come back.

"I knew I could not run much after that, so I started really going for it.

Israel captain Eyal Ran said: "This was an amazing tie. Everybody fought so hard.

"All the players on the court today were heroes. The Japanese did everything they could. We are very happy with this victory because it puts up back in the World Group where I think we deserve to be."

Last updated: 10:31pm, September 18 2012