Saturday 7 April 2012

Davis Cup: Israel-Portugal, April 2012 - Day 1

The Davis Cup weekend is upon us once again. This time, it unfortunately fell on the same day of Passover Eve - which is a big holiday in Israel, so the matches began very early (so that everyone could get home before the festivities began).
Since the public traffic stopped quite early, I couldn't stay for the whole day, but it was quite an enjoyable affair nonetheless. The crowd was cheerful but civil, and the main attraction was the professional band that sat in the stands and played better songs than the DJ. And by that I mean "Ai Se Eu Te Pego" and "Macarena".

Photo: Yaniv Gonen
The first match was pretty uneventful, with the Israeli No. 1 Dudi Sela clinching the first point, 6-3 6-4 6-4 versus Frederico Gil. Gil was actually the higher ranked Portuguese player in the latest rankings, but since the "first" and "second" players of each country are determined by older rankings, the first day had the No.1s play each other.

Dudi Sela
The second match pitched local Davis Cup hero Amir Weintraub against Rui Machado, ranked some 100 places higher. Despite some troubles to serve out the match (he said he was already thinking about a win), Weintraub, once again, did not disappoint on home soil, and won the match 5-7 6-3 6-1 7-5 to give Israel a 2-0 lead after the first day.

Rui Machado
In a few minutes, the doubles match will begin, with Israelis Ram and Erlich being the heavy favourites against any possible combination by Portugal. I will be watching it from home, but will be cheering hard nonetheless!

More photos of all players can be found on my facebook page.

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