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Israel, Australia Wins Doubles Rubbers; Belgium Returns To World Group

Ram, Erlich© AFP/Getty ImagesJonathan Erlich and Andy Ram improved to a 16-5 team record in Davis Cup ties.

ATPWorldTour.com reviews the eight Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off ties on Saturday.

JAPAN 1, ISRAEL 2
Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan (hard – outdoor)
Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram, who have a 15-13 record as a team in tour-level finals, helped Israel take a 2-1 lead over Japan after they beat Tatsuma Ito and Yuichi Sugita 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-1. Kei Nishikori, who was replaced by Ito on Friday due to a shoulder injury, may compete in the reverse singles rubber on Sunday against Dudi Sela.

BELGIUM 3, SWEDEN 0
Royal Primerose Tennis Club, Brussels, BEL (clay – outdoor)
Belgium has returned to the World Group after a one-year absence after taking an unassailable 3-0 lead against Sweden. Ruben Bemelmans and Olivier Rochus won the tie-winning point after they beat Swedes Johan Brunstrom and Michael Ryderstedt 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in two hours and 35 minutes. Sweden will not feature in the World Group for the first time since 2000.

NETHERLANDS 1, SWITZERLAND 2
Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam, Netherlands (clay – outdoor)
Jean-Julien Rojer and Robin Haase kept Dutch hopes alive in Amsterdam by beating Swiss duo Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 in two hours and 26 minutes. Rojer and Haase hit 63 winners and committed 23 unforced errors.

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GERMANY 1, AUSTRALIA 2
Rothenbaum Stadium, Hamburg, Germany (clay – outdoor)
Lleyton Hewitt improved to 50-15 for Australia in the Davis Cup after teaming up with Chris Guccione for a 6-3, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(4) victory over Germans Benjamin Becker and Philipp Petzschner. Hewitt and Guccione saved 14 of 17 break points to earn Australia a 2-1 lead.

ITALY 2, CHILE 1
Tennis Club Napoli, Napoli, Italy (clay – outdoor)
Jorge Aguilar and Paul Capdeville combined to give Chile its first point after they saved nine break points to defeat Italians Simone Bolelli and Daniele Bracciali 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 52 minutes.

KAZAKHSTAN 2, UZBEKISTAN 1
National Tennis Centre, Astana, Kazakhstan (clay – indoor)
Andrey Golubev and Yuri Schukin defeated Uzbeks Farrukh Dustov and Denis Istomin 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 24 minutes to inch Kazakhstan closer to retaining its place in the World Group.

CANADA 2, SOUTH AFRICA 1
Uniprix Stadium, Montreal, Canada (hard – outdoor)
Raven Klassen and Izak Van der Merwe put South Africa on the scoreboard by beating Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(5) in two hours and 32 minutes. World No. 15 Milos Raonic will try to close out the tie for Canada in Sunday’s first reverse singles rubber against Van der Merwe.

BRAZIL 3, RUSSIA 0
Harmonia Tenis Clube, Sao Jose do Rio Preto, BRA (clay – outdoor)
Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares beat Alex Bogomolov Jr. and Teymuraz Gabashvili 7-5, 6-2, 7-6(7) to promote Brazil to the World Group for the first time since 2003, ending a six-tie losing streak in the World Group Play-offs. Russia saw its run of playing in every World Group since 1993 come to a disappointing end.

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