Japan bounced back from 1-2 deficit after their doubles rubber to spring a surprise on the charged-up Colombians. The Japanese won both the reverse singles on Sunday and secured the World Group spot for the 2016 season. Likewise, 2014 champions Switzerland also entered the world group after being relegated to play-offs in the current season. It might not have been possible had Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka not come back to prop the Swiss in the crucial tie. Poland made their maiden world group entry by defeating Slovakia while Croatia defeated Brazil to secure a spot in next year’s world group matches even without their top star Marin Cilic. Earlier, Czech Republic, USA, Italy and Germany had already booked their passages to complete the set of eight national teams, who would compete in the 2016 Davis Cup world group.
Hosts Colombia had a disappointing last day, when they led 2-1 after winning Saturday’s doubles rubber. It was the second time in three years that Colombians were pursuing the World Group berth but they missed out on a golden opportunity by losing both reverse singles. While Kei Nishikori was expected to win his match against Santiago Giraldo, it was left to Taro Daniel to clinch the issue for Japan in the Colombian city of Pereira. Nishikori wiped out Colombia’s lead in the first reverse singles by defeating local hero Santiago Giraldo 6-4, 6-2, 7-6. The crucial fifth rubber between Daniel Taro and Alejandro Falla thus became the match of death. Alejandro led 3-0 and again at 5-2 in the first set but he squandered his chances and allowed Daniel to claw back to tiebreak. The Japanese took advantage of a pressure situation for Falla and won the tiebreak. Once the first set tension was done away, Daniel dictated terms in the next two sets and prevailed 7-6, 6-3, 6-2. Though he was seen as a villain by the partisan Pereira crowd, he did what Steve Darcis did for Belgium earlier in the day at Brussels. While Japan marched into the world group, Colombia were relegated to the Americas Zone Group I for the 2016 season.
With Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka coming back into the team, 2014 champions Switzerland defeated Netherlands 4-1. After losing the doubles rubber on Saturday, Switzerland won both the reverse singles on Sunday. Federer played the first rubber against Dutch no.1 Thiemo de Bakker and beat him in straight sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. That victory gave an unassailable 3-1 lead to Switzerland. Then in only an academically important last singles rubber, Switzerland’s world no.355 Henry Laaksonen beat Netherlands’s world no.1188 Tim Van Rijthoven 7-6, 6-3 to complete the formality.
Croatia also entered the world group, when Borna Coric prevailed over Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci, who retired with Coric leading 6-2, 4-6, 7-6, 4-0. With the tie already won at 3-1, the last singles rubber was not played. But the best result came from the match between Poland and Slovakia. Poland led 2-1 at the end of Saturday’s doubles rubber but Martin Klizan brought the score to 2-2 with a 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 victory over Jerzy Jancowicz in the first reverse singles on Sunday. It was then left to Michal Przysiezny to take Poland to their maiden entry to the world group. Przysiezny didn’t disappoint the home fans as he carved out an easy 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over world no.119 Slovakian Norbert Gombos.
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