Tennis: Japan down Canada to make maiden Davis Cup quarters

Japan's Yuichi Sugita (front row left to right), Kei Nishikori, captain Minoru Ueda, Go Soeda and Yasutaka Uchiyama celebrate with their team after defeating Canada during their Davis Cup world group first round tennis match in Tokyo, on Sunday, Feb
Japan's Yuichi Sugita (front row left to right), Kei Nishikori, captain Minoru Ueda, Go Soeda and Yasutaka Uchiyama celebrate with their team after defeating Canada during their Davis Cup world group first round tennis match in Tokyo, on Sunday, Feb 2, 2014. Hosts Japan sailed into tennis' Davis Cup quarter-finals for the first time with a 4-1 victory against an injury-plagued Canada on Sunday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Hosts Japan sailed into tennis' Davis Cup quarter-finals for the first time with a 4-1 victory against an injury-plagued Canada on Sunday.

Japanese No.1 Kei Nishikori was leading 6-2, 1-0 on the indoor hard court at Tokyo's Ariake Coliseum when his opponent Frank Dancevic retired with injury, surrendering the tie in their first meeting since 1938.

Nishikori pocketed the first set in 29 minutes and broke Dancevic in the first game of the second when the world No.119 took an injury time-out but could not continue because of a stomach muscle injury.

"The pressure is always on me to win both singles matches," said Nishikori, who won his opening singles against Peter Polansky on Friday before teaming up with Yasutaka Uchiyama to claim Saturday's doubles.

"This time I was able to help win three matches.

"The quarter-finals was our goal after getting back in the World Group. To do it in the first year is very rewarding."

Back in World Group after a one-year absence, Japan now have a perfect 6-0 Davis Cup record against last year's semi-finalists, who were laid low by a spate of injuries.

Their top-ranked player Milos Raonic withdrew on Thursday with a foot injury he suffered at last month's Australian Open, while world No.25 Vasek Pospisil also missed Saturday's doubles with an injury he picked up at Melbourne Park.

Japan will host either the Czech Republic or the Netherlands in the quarter-finals in April. The reigning champions need to win only one of Sunday's reverse singles after Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek gave them a 2-1 lead with a 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4) win over Dutchmen Robin Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer.