Davis Cup World Group: Italy take lead against Japan after doubles
The Italian duo of Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini thrashed Yasutaka Uchiyama and Ben McLachlan of Japan 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3), 7-5 in their doubles match of the Davis Cup World Group first round tietennis Updated: Feb 03, 2018 21:38 IST
Italy took the lead against Japan on Saturday after the second day of their Davis Cup World Group clash as Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini won the doubles in style.
The Italian duo thrashed Yasutaka Uchiyama and New Zealand-born Ben McLachlan 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 in the compact Morioka Takaya Arena.
The Japanese team barely won the second set after it went to a tie-breaker, but the 2015 Australian Open doubles champions secured the decisive third set following another tie-break.
The Italian pair overpowered their Japanese rivals in the fourth set to take the match, silencing local fans.
The victory gave Italy a 2-1 lead as the showdown heads into the final day.
On Sunday, world number 22 Fognini will take on Yuichi Sugita, ranked 41 in the world, who has led the Japanese squad after a wrist injury sidelined Kei Nishikori.
The final match on Sunday will pit Japan’s Taro Daniel, ranked a lowly 100 in the world in singles, against veteran Andreas Seppi.
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.
Italy were champions back in 1976 and have finished runners-up on six occasions.