Away trip

Portugal faced a difficult Davis Cup Europa/Africa Zone Group 1 tie in Israel last weekend.

The Algarve’s Rui Machado appeared to be still hampered by his long-term wrist injury as he was beaten 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 5-7 by world No199 Amir Weintraub, a defeat which had been preceded by a Frederico Gil straight sets loss to Dudi Sela.

On Saturday, the Israeli lead became unassailable as João Sousa and Gastão Elias failed to cope with the experienced doubles partnership of Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram and all that remained for Portugal’s men was to salvage some degree of self-respect by winning both the reverse singles rubbers on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Estoril Open (at the end of this month) title favourite Juan Martin del Potro led Argentina to victory over Croatia in the top World Group and will face the Czech Republic in the first of the semi-finals. The other last four encounter brings together Spain and the United States who defeated Austria and France respectively.