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Impressive mix in Israel’s Davis Cup team to take on SA

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The two singles players in Israel’s Davis Cup side are both ranked higher than their South African counterparts ahead of their Euro/Africa Zone Group 1 tie at Irene Country Club next month.

Israel announced a mix of experience and youth for their clash against the Kia South African Davis Cup side on 2-3 February

Dudi Sela and Eran Leshem are ranked 95th and 255th respectively compared to Youth Olympian Lloyd Harris (291st) and Nik Scholtz (326th).

Sela (32) and Jonathan Erlich (40) are relative veterans and the balance of the team are Igor Smilansky and Daniel Cukierma (both 22).

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 lack 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 semi-finals 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.

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

Picture of Sela courtesy of Israel Tennis Association
 
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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