Tennis / Davis Cup / Israel Completes 3-2 Defeat of Italy

Italy avoided a whitewash at the hands of Israel yesterday when it won the reverse singles in the Europe/Africa Zone Group 1 second round tie, from which the hosts advance to the World Group playoff with a 3-2 victory.

After Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich put Israel up 3-0 on Saturday, yesterday's games were purely for the record. Andreas Seppi beat Noam Okun 7-6, 7-6, and Simone Bolelli downed Dudi Sela 7-5, 6-3.

Along with Israel, those countries that have booked their places in tomorrow's World Group playoff draw are Brazil, Peru, Japan, Korea, Great Britain, Slovakia and Serbia, all after winning their respective Group I second round ties.

They will be joined by the eight losers from February's World Group first round ties: Chile, Romania, Croatia, Australia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Belarus and Austria.

Israel will face one of the eight seeded nations. The seedings will be made according to the new International Tennis Federation Davis Cup nations rankings to be released today.

In the meantime, Shahar Peer fell while jogging yesterday in Charleston, South Carolina, where she is due to compete at the Family Circle Cup.

Peer, seeded fifth for the clay court tournament, which began yesterday, cut her left hand, but hopes to be fit in time for her opening match. Peer is set to start the tournament in the second round after receiving a bye.

Peer also competes in the doubles with Tzipi Obziler.