Japan down Canada to make maiden Davis Cup quarters

Sun Feb 2, 2014 12:05pm EST
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(Reuters) - Hosts Japan sailed into the Davis Cup quarter-finals for the first time with a 4-1 victory against an injury-plagued Canada on Sunday.

Japanese number one Kei Nishikori was leading 6-2 1-0 on the indoor hard court at Tokyo's Ariake Coliseum when his opponent Frank Dancevic retired with injury, surrendering the tie in their first meeting since 1938.

They will host cup holders Czech Republic in the World Group quarter-finals in April, after they eased into the next round with a 3-2 win over The Netherlands.

World number seven Tomas Berdych secured the tie with a 6-1 6-4 6-3 win over Thiemo De Bakker, with Igor Sijsling beating Lukas Rosol in the dead rubber.

Japan's Nishikori pocketed the first set in 29 minutes and broke Dancevic in the first game of the second when the world number 119 took an injury timeout but could not continue because of a stomach muscle injury.

"The pressure is always on me to win both singles matches," said Nishikori, who won his opening singles against Peter Polansky on Friday before teaming up with Yasutaka Uchiyama to claim Saturday's doubles.

"This time I was able to help win three matches.

"The quarter-finals was our goal after getting back in the World Group. To do it in the first year is very rewarding."

Back in World Group after a one-year absence, Japan now have a perfect 6-0 Davis Cup record against last year's semi-finalists, who were laid low by a spate of injuries.   Continued...

Champagne is sprayed on Japan's Kei Nishikori by his teammates as they celebrate their victory over Canada at their Davis Cup world group first round tennis match in Tokyo February 2, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai