COQUIMBO, Chile, March 5 (UPI) -- World No. 10 Fernando Gonzalez leads Chile into its delayed first-round Davis Cup series against Israel.
While the other seven Davis Cup clashes began Friday, the best-of-five series in Chile was pushed back one day to allow the Israeli team an extra day of practice on the outdoor clay court at Coquimbo.
The arrival of the Israeli team of singles players Dudi Sela and Harel Levy and doubles specialists Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram was delayed because of the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Chile last week.
Gonzalez and Chilean Nicolas Massu have drawn heavy duty in the series, playing both the singles and doubles legs.
Sela meets Massu in Saturday's opener with Gonzalez going against Levy, the 118th-ranked player in the world. Gonzalez and Massu then turn to the doubles event Sunday against Erlich and Ram before returning Monday for any needed reverse singles matches.
Sela, No. 66 in the world, is Israel's highest-rated player, but the Israelis shouldn't be sold short. They are coming off a semifinal appearance in the 2009 Davis Cup.
The Israel-Chile winner moves to a quarterfinal series against either the Czech Republic or Belgium.