Israel fell yesterday to the Czech Republic in its Fed Cup tie in Ramat Hasharon 3-2, as Tzipi Obziler carried the singles load but lost with Shahar Peer in the doubles match.
Peer won her first set and actually led in the third set but ultimately succumbed to her lower-ranked opponent, Lucie Safarova. In the afternoon, Obziler came through as she had Saturday, evening the contest by defeating Petra Kvitova in straight sets. In the doubles rubber, the Czechs were clearly in control. Kveta Peschke, a top-10 doubles competitor, was strong in front of the net, never allowing the Israelis to break during the first set. She and Benesova were able to break Peer and Obziler in the 10th game, giving them the first set.
The Israelis finally managed to break the Czechs in the second set but were broken right back, and though they put up a valiant fight at match point, they did succumb 6-3. Thus, Israel will compete in 2009 in World Group II, the second highest group in the competition, comprising eight teams. Joining Israel will be Ukraine, Japan, Germany, Serbia, Slovakia, Belgium and Switzerland.
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