Japan return to top table

Japan return to top table

Kei Nishikori partnered Yuichi Sugita to claim a dominant doubles victory and help Japan return to the Davis Cup’s top table.

The Japanese pair put their nation into a commanding 3-0 lead against Ukraine and subsequently made Sunday’s matches dead rubbers.

The world number five was afforded the opportunity to rest on Friday and he looked sharp in the doubles as Japan ran out 6-3 6-0 6-3 winners over Artem Smirnov and Sergiy Stakhovsky.

Japan have now guaranteed their place back in the World Group for 2017 and Nishikori was delighted to come through the tie with an unfamiliar team-mate.

Nishikori said: "We had never played together before and we had to change some things during the match.

"Neither of us are the best net players but our groundstrokes did the job. The second set we were on fire --we made a lot of returns and they were struggling with their service."

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