Israel name Davis Cup team to face SA

Israel have announced a mix of experience and youth for their upcoming tie against the Kia South African Davis Cup team.

The Euro/Africa Zone Group 1 tie will be played at the Irene Country Club on February 2 and 3.

Two veteran tennis players are 32-year-old Dudi Sela, and Jonathan Erlich, aged 40, are included in their squad. Sela will be the highest-ranked singles player at the tie while Erlich will add value to the Israeli doubles team.

The balance of the team is: Edan Leshem, Igor Smilansky and Daniel Cukierma.

Harel Levy, who has played in a Davis Cup competition for Israel in South Africa previously, will captain the team.

Sela is one of the shortest players on the men’s tour but what he lacks in height, he makes up for in guts and stamina. He has been a regular member of the Israeli Davis Cup team and was an important cog in the team that won through to the semifinals of the World Group in 2009 in which they beat Chile, Russia and Sweden before losing to Spain, in Spain – a team led by Rafael Nadal.

Erlich also played in that team and, along with Andy Ram, proved to be a formidable doubles team who won the Australian Open in 2008.

Very little is known about the other members of the team other than the fact that a decent future is predicted for 20-year-old Lashem. He recently attempted to qualify for the Australian Open but lost early.

Smilansky and Cukierma make up the balance of the team and are both 22 years old.

The KIA South African team comprises of Lloyd Harris, Nik Scholtz, Ruan Roelofse, specialist doubles player Raven Klaasen, and Tucker Vorster.

UPDATED WORLD TENNIS RANKINGS OF THE ABOVE-MENTIONED PLAYERS

TEAM KIA SOUTH AFRICA
1. Lloyd Harris (Singles 291)
2. Nik Scholtz (Singles 326)
3. Raven Klaasen (Doubles 25)
4. Ruan Roelofse (Doubles 143)
5. Tucker Vorster (Singles 1429; Doubles 1480)

TEAM ISRAEL
1. Dudi Sela (Singles 95)
2. Edan Leshem (Singles 255)
3. Igor Smilansky (Doubles 923)
4. Jonathan Erlich (Doubles 83)
5. Daniel Cukierma (Singles 1522 ; Doubles 776)

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