Changes during a game are not reserved only for football or basketball.
Trailing disappointingly 2:0 and with their backs against the wall, the Davis team outdid themselves, winning the doubles match and their two remaining singles matches tonight (Sunday), and achieving an amazing 2:3 victory over Latvia away.
How significant is this victory for us?
The team survived in the European/African Group 1 and avoided relegation to Group 2, where they had not played since 2001, and could have arranged meetings for them in remote places such as El Salvador, Zimbabwe or Barbados.
A real Israeli celebration in Latvia, photo: Kaspars Volonts / Latvian Tennis union
In a necessary and completely justified decision, Yoni Erlich decided to put Idan Leshem and Daniel Zuckerman in the doubles match, instead of Yishai Oliel and Saar Simon, and it paid off big for him.
Ehrlich changed his decision, just because he was double behind, but you have to know when to come to your senses and put all your heaviest tools on the field.
About a week ago, Shem and Zuckerman won a doubles tournament in England, and their experience together set the tone on the way to a smooth victory 3:6 3:6 over Ernests Gulbis and Karlis Ozolins.
Immediately after, Erlich surprised again, and brought Uliel back to life.
The latter repaid him for the credit with an impressive 1:6, 4:6 over Robert Strombachs, who was also not supposed to play at all in the meeting, on the way to 2:2.
Decision-making that secured the victory for the Davis team, photo: Kaspars Volonts / Latvian Tennis union
the point of light
Until the decisive victory that arranged the turnaround for Israel, Zuckerman lost his singles matches in Davis three times in a row, and despite this he played impressive tennis.
On these three occasions - against Lloyd Harris from South Africa, against Jiri Lechka from the Czech Republic and on Saturday against Gulbis - he played against senior and experienced ranked players, fought to the end and showed how much talent he has in his hands.
Not to mention that he is an excellent doubles player, and took two points with Yoni Ehrlich in the previous Davis Cups and another against Latvia.
Today, Israel's number 2 racket has already translated his talent into a great 7:6(5), 2:6, 4:6 victory over Carlis Ozolins, who defeated Idan Leshem in the opening game of this meeting (we'll get to that later).
Fights and impresses every time, photo: Kaspars Volonts / Latvian Tennis union
The big problem of our tennis is that excelling in Davis is not enough for the round, and in recent years we have come to know that individual victories are not enough if they are not leveraged even when taking off the national uniform.
Zuckerman, and we too, have gotten used to being pleasantly surprised by him, simply because he almost always comes as an underdog.
The biggest and most difficult task of all is that he will no longer be an underdog.
That's how he got to the final and decisive game, and we saw how it ended.
It is not so clear what happened to Idan there on the first day of the games.
Israel's No. 1 racket, which has been on a roll in recent months, came with a great tailwind and fell 6:3, 6:0 to Azulins, who is ranked almost 900 places below him.
Fortunately for Leshem, he had a night to recover and get up sharp the next day to shrink the result with an excellent doubles match together with Zuckerman.
The fatigue, probably together with the damaged sense of security, led the captain Ehrlich to decide that Shams would not go up to the decisive game either.
The disappointing loss in the opening should seep into Lashma, who needs to keep his head up, continue to work hard and prove that it was just a tuition in his progress.
From here only to grow again, photo: Kaspars Volonts / Latvian Tennis union
were we wrong
We will fix it!
If you found an error in the article, we would appreciate it if you shared it with us