Amir Weintraub pulled off his second upset victory this week to give Israel a 3-2 win over Japan on Sunday, helping his country move up to the Davis Cup World Group next year.
With the two teams tied at 2-2, Weintraub defeated Japan’s number two Go Soeda 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-3 to seal victory in the best-of-five contest.
“After the way I played Friday, I knew anything was possible,” said Weintraub.
“I hurt my right hamstring in the third set. The break really helped me. I got treatment and was able to come back. I knew I could not run much after that, so I started really going for it,” he added.
Coming into the final day with Israel on a 2-1 lead, Japan’s ace Kei Nishikori made it even 2-2 by beating Dudi Sela 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
“My players played very well until the end, but anything can happen in the Davis Cup competition,” said Japan coach Tosiro Sakai.
Meanwhile, Soeda said: “I couldn’t play my game at all. I gave my 100 percent, but it was not enough to cope with my opponent. He (Weintraub) hit better serves and strokes than he usually does.”
With the highly rated Nishikori taking a rest because of a shoulder problem on Friday, Soeda defeated Sela 6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the opening match.
But Amir Weintraub, ranked a lowly 223rd in the world, pulled off an upset victory by beating the 67th-ranked Tatsuma Ito 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to make it even at 1-1.
Jonathan Erlich teamed up with Andy Ram to win the doubles beating Tatsuma Ito and Yuichi Sugita 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.