Israel Takes Surprise Lead Over Russia in Davis Cup Quarters

Israeli tennis player Dudi Sela rallies to beat Mikhai Youzhny in the second singles match.

Israel took a surprising 2-0 lead over Russia in the Davis Cup quarterfinals Friday after Dudi Sela rallied to beat Mikhai Youzhny in the second singles match.

Sela won 3-6, 6-1, 6-0, 7-5 after Harel Levy beat Igor Andreev 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, putting Israel one win away from its first semifinal appearance.

"I felt a lot of pressure when I took the court after Harel's win, because I knew I could put the team at 2-0," said Sela, who moved up 13 places to No. 33 in the world rankings after reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon last week. "I am happy that I stood up to this."

Israel can wrap up the best-of-five series in Saturday's doubles match when Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich are set to take on Marat Safin and Igor Kunitsyn.

Russia has won the Davis Cup twice - in 2002 and 2007 - and made it to the semifinals in each of the past five years.

Israel has only reached the quarterfinals once before, losing to India in New Delhi in 1987.

Youzhyny said he was very disappointed.

"I began very well, but after I took the first set, my luck fell away," he said. "I hope that this tie is still not lost."