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[News] Japan blank Pakistan to make World Group qualifiers

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Following the opening day’s singles losses, Pakistan had set their eyes on the doubles. Japan fielded young pair of Shintaro Mochizuki and Sho Shimabukuro who ended Pakistan's hopes with a three-set win against Aisamul Haq and Aqeel Khan 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to give their team an unassailable 3-0 lead and a place in World Group qualifiers. It was then left to Yuta Shimizu who gave no clue to Muzammil Murtaza during his easy 6-1, 6-1 win to make it 4-0 for the tourists.

Pakistan never have beaten Japan during their last three ties and that trend continued with yet another Japan win.

There were high expectations from Aqeel and Aisam in the doubles and they started that way by winning the first set, courtesy to two breaks against one conceded by Aisam at the outset. Mochizuki and Shimabukuro bounced back well, making it all the more difficult for Aqeel and Aisam to play fluently. Both players struggled to match the Japanese pair who happened to be too strong at the net.

They broke Aqeel’s serve once in the second set with some accurate passing shots backed by top of the net volleys that unsettled Pakistan duo.

Following 1-1 set all in the doubles match, the Japanese pair played exceptional tennis in the third, breaking Aisam first service and then his second and held on to their own to win the tie for their team.

Japan earlier had won both the singles through Yosuki Watanuki and Kaichi Uchida to give their team a strong base going into the second day.

The 2019 junior Wimbledon champion Mochizuki was seen playing some of exiting grasscourts tennis in the doubles. His quick reflexes de él backed by his strong forehand down the line shots unsettled Aisam and Aqeel combination that never worked against young pair.

“It was all too easy for me, I never have comprehended that playing against Aisam and Aqeel would be such easy. Possibly the two were not at their best. Aisam was famous for his doubles prowess de él and I thought it would be difficult for us to beat them. At the end we succeeded in winning the tie for Japan, ”Mochizuki said while talking to 'The News'.

Ranked around 600 in the world the former Wimbledon junior champion said he was feeling at ease in playing at the grass.

“Since I won junior Wimbledon and that too on the grass, I had no problems in making the best use of my abilities. I always played attacking tennis on any surface and I am happy that shots landed perfectly today, ”he added.

The jubilant Japan team members were seen jumping with joy as Mochizuki and Shimabukuro won the doubles following the first set hiccup. Japan team played their cards well and managed a firm grip throughout the two days of proceedings to unsettle Pakistan in all the departments.

Japan’s non-playing captain Iwabuchi Satoshi attributed the overwhelming success to former Japan junior team coach Bob Brett.

“His services from him are unforgettable. He was also my coach and I attribute this success to him. "

Satoshi added that before coming here he never had thought of such an easy sailing.

“We are missing some of the key players and I was not sure whether we would be in a position to match Pakistan on the grass. To my surprise, my young players played brilliant tennis. "

Aqeel though played a brilliant game in the doubles but he was unable to convert the first set win into doubles victory.

“We have beaten the best of teams here in the past. This time I don't think we have succeeded in playing with the same strength. I have seen some improvement in my game today but it was not enough to unsettle well-versed Japan duo, who played exceptional tennis. "

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