Tennis: Ito the hero as Japan beat South Korea in Davis Cup

Tatsuma Ito was the hero on Sunday as he took the decisive final match to give Japan a slim 3-2 victory over South Korea in their Davis Cup Asia/Oceania zone Group I second-round tie.

The 24-year-old raced to a 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 win over Cho Min-Hyeok after rookie Lim Yong-Kyu had pulled off a surprising defeat of Go Soeda 5-7, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-3 to make it 2-2 in the best-of-five contest.

Ito's win means Japan qualify for a place in the play-off for the World Group in September.

On Friday, Ito coasted to a straightforward 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 win over Jeong Suk-Young in the opening rubber, 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 for a 2-0 lead.

But Nam Ji-Sung and Lim Yong-Kyu pulled one back in the doubles to keep the South Korean hopes alive on Saturday.