South Florida is a long, long way from Israel.
Forced by the International Tennis Federation on rather short notice to seek an alternate, neutral venue to host its World Group playoff tie against Argentina next month, the Israeli Davis Cup team has chosen the unlikely town of Sunrise, Florida.
To be more precise, the Sunrise Tennis Club, which is a public facility. The Davis Cup committee approved the choice after visiting the site. The alternative for the Israelis would have been to travel all the day down to Argentina to contest the tie on their opponents' home turf.
The tie will take place Sept. 12-14, right after the U.S. Open.
According to this story in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the deputy director of the Israel Tennis Association visited the club, as well as the Delray Beach Tennis Center and another center in Los Angeles. From 2004-10, the club hosted a $100,000 tournament scheduled in March just before the Sony Open in Miami.
The country of Cyprus reportedly was the Israeli association's second choice, but poor attendance at a basketball game between Israel and Serbia that had to be moved there was an issue.
Meanwhile, the other Davis Cup tie that has been mandated to find an alternate site because of security concerns is still up in the air.
Ukraine, which is to play Belgium, has a tight deadline to find a neutral venue but according to one of the squad's top players, its first effort to host it in Rzeszow, Poland has been rejected.
Rzezow is approximately 700 kilometers due west of Kiev, about 75 kilometres from the Poland-Ukraine border.