Croatia, Japan even in Davis Cup World Group
Ivo Karlovic beat Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 Friday to give
Croatia a split against Japan in the first round of the Davis
Karlovic overpowered Nishikori with 18 aces in the day’s second
singles in World Group play. In the first match, Japan’s Go Soeda
rallied past Ivan Dodig 6-7 (3), 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-5.
Nishikori became the first Japanese man to reach the
quarterfinals of the Australian Open since the Open era began in
1968, but struggled against the big-serving Croatian.
Japan is in the World Group for the first time in 26 years.
In Saturday’s doubles of the best-of-five series, Karlovic and
Lovro Zovko play Tatsuma Ito and Yuichi Sugita. In Sunday’s reverse
singles, it’s Nishikori vs. Dodig and Soeda vs. Karlovic.