Fed Cup: Japan wins decisive doubles to beat Britain 3-2

April 22, 2018
Britain's Johanna Konta returns a shot against Japan's Naomi Osaka during Fed Cup World Group play-off match Suday April 22, 2018 in Miki, western Japan. (Meika Fujio/Kyodo News via AP)

MIKI, Japan (AP) — Miyu Kato and Makoto Ninomiya beat Johanna Konta and Heather Watson 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in doubles on Sunday to give Japan a 3-2 win over Britain in their Fed Cup World Group playoff.

Konta beat Naomi Osaka 6-3, 6-3 in the first reverse singles to give Britain a 2-1 lead after the two countries split the opening singles matches on Saturday.

Kurumi Nara leveled the tie with a hard-fought 7-6 (7), 6-4 win over Watson in Sunday’s second reverse singles before Kato and Ninomiya rallied to secure the win for the hosts.

Britain had won both of the previous two meetings between the teams — in Johannesburg in 1972 and Nagoya in 1985.

With the win, Japan secured a place in World Group II for the first time since 2014.

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