Italy takes 2-1 lead over Japan in Davis Cup 

Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini defeated Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchiyama in Saturday's doubles as Italy took a 2-1 lead over Japan in the first round of the Davis Cup.

Published: 04th February 2018 04:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th February 2018 04:52 AM   |  A+A-

Fabio Fognini of Italy returns the ball to Roberto Bautista of Spain during the St. Petersburg Open ATP tennis tournament semi-final match in St.Petersburg. | AP

By Associated Press

MORIOKA: Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini defeated Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchiyama in Saturday's doubles as Italy took a 2-1 lead over Japan in the first round of the Davis Cup.

After splitting Friday's opening singles, Italy gained the advantage after a 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3), 7-5 doubles victory.

The winning country advances to the quarterfinals while the loser will have to win a playoff to remain in next year's World Group.

Japan must now win both Sunday's reverse singles to advance and end a three-year drought that includes losses to Canada, Britain and France.

Italy is bidding to reach the quarterfinals for the fifth time in six years.

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