TOKYO, JAPAN, September 15th, 2013 – Go Soeda and Alejandro Falla go head-to-head in a deciding fifth rubber in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off in Tokyo.
Kei Nishikori defeated Santiago Giraldo in straight sets 61 62 64 to even Japan’s BNP by Paribas Davis Cup World Group play-off with Colombia at 2-2 at Ariake Coliseum on Sunday.
Nishikori, ranked 12th, once again relied on his powerful forehand and deep returns as he notched a comprehensive victory over Giraldo, No. 85 in the world, to keep the host nation in the tie.
Nishikori came out very aggressive, moving Giraldo around the court with huge forehand and forcing him into 19 errors an opening set that lasted just 21 minutes. Nishikori broke in the second game and led 3-0 before the Colombian held serve for 3-1.
Giraldo, who suffered from appendicitis last year and a subsequent infection following surgery and has been slowly climbing back up the rankings, could not find the answer on this day. Nishikori continued the onslaught in the second set, breaking in the fifth and seventh games on the way to wrapping up the set in 33 minutes.
The Colombian suffered from a nosebleed in the final set, but valiantly fought on. However, Nishikori broke to move ahead 4-3 and brought matters to a conclusion in one hour 43 minutes.
Giraldo had 61 unforced errors to Nishikori’s 31 in the loss.
Go Soeda, ranked 131st, will take on Alejandro Falla, 93rd in the world, in the decisive fifth rubber.
Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah gave Colombia to a 2-1 lead with a straight sets 61 62 61 victory over Tatsuma Ito Yuichi Sugita in doubles on Saturday.
In Friday’s opening singles, Nishikori defeated Alejandro Falla in straight sets 63 64 64, before Santiago Giraldo outlasted Go Soeda in five sets 64 36 75 36 61 in the second contest to level the tie.
Japan had returned to the top level for the first time in 27 years last year, but was unable to stay there.
Colombia is trying to earn a spot in the World Group for the first time.
A loss by Japan would see it remain in the Asia-Oceania Zone next year.
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Original Source: Davis Cup (via noodls) / LIVE: Soeda (JPN) v Falla (COL)