INTERNATIONAL NEWS - Tatsuma Ito and Go Soeda gained a win each in a to give Japan a 2-0 lead over South Korea in the Davis Cup tennis Asia/Oceania zone Group I second round tie on Friday.
Ito coasted to a straightforward 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 win over up-and-coming Jeong Suk-Young in the opening rubber of the best-of-five contest, while Soeda had to come back from two sets down to beat Cho Min-Hyeok 5-7, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
"I have worked on my physical strength since January and I wanted to test my improvement in this match. I gave 100 percent from the first point to the last," said Ito.
"We got off to a good start with this win. I was ready to play five sets and it ended easily," added Ito, who has defeated Jeong three times in the Challenger series.
Meanwhile, Jeong said Ito was more powerful than when they had last met.
"I couldn't break his defence, because he balanced his game very well."
On Saturday, Soeda will team up with Yasutaka Uchiyama for a doubles match against Nam Ji-Sung and Lim Yong-Kyu before the two reverse singles matches on Sunday. The teams are vying for a place in the play-off for the World Group in September.