History has been made this Sunday in Japan, as the home team defeated Canada 4-1 to reach the Davis Cup quarter-finals for the first time in history.
It was not, perhaps, done the ideal way, as the locals achieved this historical first when Frank Dancevic, injured, had to retire down 6-2, 1-0 to Kei Nishikori due to an injury he sustained during Saturday’s doubles match. Go Soeda then completed the Japanese triumph with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Peter Polansky.
A maimed team for Canada
It was a near impossible task for Canada from the start, as not only was Milos Raonic forced to withdraw from the whole tie due to an ankle injury, but Vasek Pospisil was also forced out because of a back injury.
Originally selected to play only the doubles alongside Daniel Nestor, Pospisil finally had no other choice but to withdraw completely, as the state of his back did not permit him to take the court.
As for Dancevic, he sustained an injury during the doubles match and his reaction when faced with the decision to retire after a set and a game was painful to watch. He wanted to continue, but he couldn’t.
However, the injuries to the Canadian team should not downplay Japan’s triumph, as they did with the team that was across from them, and they won which, in the end, is what will be remembered.
Next for Japan: the defending champions
Japan will play their first Davis Cup quarter-finals at home, as hosts to the defending champions, the Czech Republic.
The Czechs booked their quarter-final spot when Tomas Berdych defeated Thiemo De Bakker (in for Robin Haase, a surprising captain decision) 6-1, 6-4, 6-3.