Japan dominate day first of Davis Cup tie against Pakistan

The Nation  |  Mar 06, 2021

ISLAMABAD-Japan’s Yosuke Watanuki and Kaichi Uchida recorded straight-set victories to provide their side a 2-0 lead on the opening day of their Davis Cup World Group I tie against Pakistan here at Aisam-ul-Haq Pavilion, Pakistan Sports Complex on Friday. 

Japan’s Watanuki took little time to brush aside longest serving Pakistan No 1 tennis player Aqeel Khan 6-3, 6-2 in the first fixture, while Davis Cup debutant Uchida doubled Japan’s lead when he outwitted seasoned campaigner Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi 6-4, 7-6(4) in an interesting contest. “I’m really happy as I managed to beat an experienced player in my very first Davis Cup appearance. He’s got a good service. But I’d a plan and that was to make things difficult for him. I managed to execute my plan well. I think Aisam too had his chances, but he remained unable to capitalize those,” Uchida said after registering hard-fought victory. 

Aisam said he was upset with the defeat as the match could have gone either way. “I think I should have won the match. A victory would have levelled the tie on the day first. There were chances (for me), but unfortunately I missed those. “I mostly compete in the doubles in the Davis Cup ties. Perhaps, it is due to that factor, I suffered the defeat. It’s is difficult to retain your form if you play the singles off and on,” added Aisam, who normally features in the doubles. 

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Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Dr Fehmida Mirza, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Kuninori Matsuda along with his wife, Secretary IPC Mohsin Mushtaq, General Manager of Mitsubishi Yohei Shiomoto and Atsushi Fujii and President PTF Salim Saifullah Khan also witnessed the enthralling and exciting matches. 

The two-day event is taking place in strict adherence to ITF COVID-19 protocols and foolproof security. Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Rangers, and Islamabad Police are providing security coverage. Pakistan will take on Japan in the doubles today (Saturday). A defeat will mean a sudden end to the tie. But a win will lead to the reverse singles’ matches and help in making the tie exciting and interesting. 

PTF President Salim Saifullah Khan appreciated the efforts and cooperation of the government agencies to make it a Covid-free, smooth tie and hoped the doubles match today (Saturday) would be a close contest, with Pakistan offering a strong side with internationally experienced Aisam-ul-Haq and Aqeel Khan. 

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