Israel on a mission

By Simon Griver, February 5, 2009

Israel will start as underdogs when they take on the Ukraine in the Federation Cup Tier II first round, beginning tomorrow in Kharkhov.

Shahar Peer has slipped to 48 in the WTA rankings after losing in the first round of the Australian Open while 35- year-old Tzipi Obziler has slipped down to 166. They face an uphill struggle against the Bondarenko sisters, Alona (31) and Kateryna (50), as well as Mriya Koryttseva (84).

Peer was trying to sound positive despite her slump in form. “It will be difficult but there is positive tension and if we adapt to the conditions we can get a good result,” she said.

The Israelis will be hoping to end a run of bad results that saw them relegated from Tier I, the world’s top eight nations, after losing to Russia and the Czech Republic last year.

    Last updated: 12:15pm, February 5 2009