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Playoff looms for Israel after Chile defeat

    Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram kept Israel in the tie
    Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram kept Israel in the tie

    Israel faces a World Group relegation play-off in September after losing 4-1 to Chile in the Davis Cup first round.

    Israel will not know its opponents until after the second round matches in the Europe/Africa Group are completed on May 9.

    In a match that started 24 hours late in Conquimbo due to the recent earthquake, Israel was always on the back foot. Both Dudi Sela (66) and Harel Levy (118) won the first sets in their respective matches against Nicolas Massu (92) and Fernando Gonzalez (10) but were each eventually downed by three sets to one.

    Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram kept Israel in the tie, coming from behind to win a five set victory over Jorge Aguilar and Paul Capdeville 6-7, 7-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-0

    Sela was swept aside by Gonzalez 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to give the Chileans an unassailable 3-1 lead. Aguilar (222) beat Levy 7-6, 6-1 in the final inconsequential rubber.

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