Davis Cup: China knocked out of the final stage by Japan
Sports Scene

The first Davis Cup meeting between China and Japan over the last decade ended with the Chinese bowing out 3-2 at the hands of their Asian rivals in Guangzhou, south China, on Saturday.

The duo of Gong Maoxin and Zhang Ze, who made China men's doubles' history in Australia Open 2019 for entering the second round, beat Japan's Ben McLachlan / Yasutaka Uchiyama 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 in doubles. 

However, Yoshihito Nishioka smashed Wu Yibing 6-2, 6-0 and Taro Daniel defeated Li Zhe 6-3, 6-7(4-7), 6-3 in a tense three-setter to come up from behind.

The 32-year-old Li stayed at the 262nd place for world ranking, but he showed his powerful performance when confronting the 25-year-old opponent, who's at the 69th.

Li Zhe of China in action during the Davis Cup qualifier match against Japan's Taro Daniel, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, south China, February 2, 2019. /VCG Photo

Li Zhe of China in action during the Davis Cup qualifier match against Japan's Taro Daniel, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, south China, February 2, 2019. /VCG Photo

Wu, 19, former ITF Juniors Singles and Doubles Champion, always seemed out of condition in the senior side. Facing Nishioka, the world 66th place, the substitute of Zhang didn't create a miracle when stayed behind.

China's loss means they stopped the journey to the final stage of Davis Cup, which will be held in November in Madrid.

The Netherlands beat Czech Republic 3-1 in Ostrava and Colombia ended a 51-year wait to play for the Davis Cup by blanking Sweden 4-0 in Bogota, while Belgium upset Brazil on home soil to advance. 

Kazakhstan ran out 3-1 winners over Portugal in Astana, Chile edged Austria 3-2 in Salzburg, and Italy also progressed with a 3-1 victory over India in Kolkata.

(With inputs from Reuters)