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January 22, 2021

Nishikori not to be part of Davis Cup team against Pakistan

Sports

January 22, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Kei Nishikori, Japan’s leading tennis players, has been ruled out of the World Group I Davis Cup tie against Pakistan as the visitors’ country Thursday intimated the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) that a 20-member contingent would be reaching Islamabad at the end of February.

The all-important tie meant for the qualification to the World Group playoffs will be held at the Pakistan Sports Complex on March 6-7.

A PTF official has said that Nishikori will not be participating in the Davis Cup tie as he had his other professional commitments.

As things stand, the former world No 4 will not be traveling to Pakistan for the tie.

“Nishikori has confirmed his plans for competing in a series of professional tennis events and the commitments do not include the Davis Cup tie,” the official said.

The Japanese player who is now ranked at 41st is currently busy playing ATP Cup in Australia. That will be followed by Australia Open. When his team will be busy playing Davis Cup, Nishikori is scheduled to figure in tennis event in Rotterdam.

It has been learnt that efforts were underway by the Japanese tennis federation to have world No 57 Yoshihito Nishioka, world No 102 Yuichi Sugita, No 105 Yasutaka Uchiyama, and No 135 Go Soeda for the tie. Japan has no less than five players amongst the top 200 ATP ranking.

Meanwhile, Japan has communicated that a strong 20-member squad will be arriving in Pakistan in just a month’s time for the tie. This includes five players, a non-playing captain, three coaches, one hitting partner, a doctor, two physios, stringer, analyst, and two managers.

“The Japanese federation has yet to communicate the traveling members’ names which they would do in due course but has confirmed that they would be carrying a 20-member contingent with them for the tie. They have also shared details of facilities which they would be requiring for their training and stay in Islamabad,” the PTF official added.

It will be after almost 18 years that Pakistan will be playing against Asia’s best team in Davis Cup tie.

After beating European powerhouse Slovenia in February 2020, Pakistan fancied their chances against Japan more due to the fact that the event will be played at home on grass surface.