Itongadol.- Israel’s Fed Cup team maintained its Europe/Africa Zone Group I status for another year on Friday, beating Latvia 2-1 in a crucial showdown in Budapest, Hungary.
After suffering two consecutive 3-0 defeats to Croatia and Belgium in Pool D, Israel had to overcome Latvia to avoid a tie against relegation to Group II.
The blue-and-white did so comfortably, with Julia Glushko, ranked No. 146 in the world, beating Jelena Ostapenko (266) 7-5, 6-3 before Shahar Pe’er (113), playing her first singles rubber in Budapest after recovering from an ankle injury, thrashed Diana Marcinkevica (262) 6-1, 6-1.
The tie ended at 2-1 after Israel’s Alona Pushkarevsky and Keren Shlomo lost 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 to Darta-Elizabete Emulina and Ostapenko in a meaningless doubles contest.
The win over Latvia meant Israel ended Pool D in third place from four teams and the blue-and-white will play in Group I for a seventh straight year in 2016.