Update: 31.03.2022 18:03
Released: 31.03.2022, 16:30
London – The Czechs will play in the Davis Cup World Group I in Israel. The matches will take place on September 16 and 17, and the winner will qualify for the final round of the 2023 tournament. Today, the head of the ITF international federation, David Haggerty, drew his opponent.
“The numbers are acceptable because there are unpleasant and strong opponents,” captain Jaroslav Navrátil said in media footage. Czechs can come to Switzerland, Norway or go to New Zealand. They outnumber single Israelites. “We will definitely go there in the role of favourites, but there is no opponent to be underestimated. The most important thing is that the players are healthy in September,” said Navrátil.
Israel’s current number one is 22-year-old Ishai Oliel, the 345th ATP player. Behind him is 377th place Dudi Sela, a former 29th player in the world, but in March Daniel Cukierman (650th) helped to win over South Africa. Jonathan Erlich, forty-four years (71st ATP doubles), 2008 Australian Open doubles winner, goes into doubles.
“I practically don’t know the player except for Sely, who is older and hasn’t played much lately. I think we have a great chance of still qualifying for the World Group,” said Navrátil.
The Czech tennis player dropped into World Group I after losing 0:4 in March qualifiers for this year’s final tournament to favorites Argentina. Jiří Vesel is missing from a clay court in Buenos Aires. For the match in Israel, the Czech number one and currently the 78th player in the world could return to the Davis Cup. “I still count on him, especially if the match is on concrete,” said Navrátil.
Apart from Jiří Lehečka, Tomáš Macháč, Vít Kopřiva and Zdeněk Kolář, who make up the quartet in Argentina, the captain may also consider other young players in the team. “Jonáš Forejtek is taking a step forward and Dalibor Svrčina has improved,” said Navrátila.
The last time his charges met with Israel was in 2018, and they won 3:1 at Ostrava without any problems. The Czechs also lead the overall balance by the same ratio. The last time they played in Israel was in 1994, and Petr Korda contributed all three points for a 4:1 win.
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