Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Japan face Italian job in Davis Cup

Japan face Italian job in Davis Cup

Japan will be without Kei Nishikori when they host Italy this week for a place in the Davis Cup quarter-finals.

Japan's challenge in Morioka will be spearheaded by Yuichi Sugita, who won his first ATP tour singles title in Turkey last summer.

Italy have named Fabio Fognini and Paolo Lorenzi with Andreas Seppi, Thomas Fabbiano and Simone Bolelli also among Corrado Barazzutti's team.

Japan captain Satoshi Iwabuchi has called up Taro Daniel alongside Sugita in singles, with Go Soeda offering experience alongside Yasutaka Uchiyama and Kiwi-born Ben Mclachlan, who recently reached the Australian Open doubles semi-finals.

Japan are looking to reach the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup for only the second time after Nishikori helped them reach the last eight in 2014.

But without the former world number four, the Japanese will have their work cut out after winning a World Group playoff against Brazil last September.

The Italians won both of their two previous meetings, in Genoa back in 1930 and Milan in 1932. More recently, they lost to Belgium in last year's quarter-finals.

Japan returned to the top tier of the Davis Cup in 2011 after 26 years languishing at the regional level before registering their first victory in 2014.


Article from AFP