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Tough draw for Israel

    Israel have been handed a tough draw away to Japan in their bid to return to the Davis Cup World Group.

    They reached the promotion playoff after beating Portugal 3-1 in the Europe/Africa Zone Group tie at Ramat Hasharon.

    Israel marched into an unassailable 3-0 lead after Dudi Sela, Amir Weintraub and doubles specialists Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich won their matches.

    Sela (61) helped Israel make a flying start after beating Frederico Gil (84) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

    Weintraub (190) continued the good work, coming from a set down to surprise Rui Machado (97) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, 7-5.
    It was left to Ram and Erlich to cement victory and they made no mistake, beating Joao Sousa and Gastao Elias 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.

    Weintraub said: "I couldn't have done it without the support of the rest of the team and the crowd really lifted me when it mattered."

    Portugal gave the scoreline a sense of respectability with victory in the reverse singles matches, with Ram making a rare outing.

    Erlich commented: "It's for moments like this that I’m still playing tennis. It’s fantastic to play in front of our home crowd."

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