MIKI, Japan (AP) — With no fans in attendance to give host Japan a boost in a Davis Cup qualifier, Ecuador took a 2-0 lead Friday after the opening singles matches.
Emilio Gomez beat Go Soeda 7-5, 7-6 (3) and Roberto Quiroz followed with a 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (8) victory over Yasutaka Uchiyama.
The matches were played in an empty stadium amid fears about the spread of the coronavirus.
Quiroz finished the match with 16 aces.
“The third set was like a roller coaster,” Quiroz said. “I had so many chances and couldn’t take advantage, but I think my mental game proved up to it.”
In addition to the Davis Cup, Japanese preseason baseball games and sumo are being held in empty stadiums. The Japanese professional soccer league wiped out the first month of its season.
Japan is without top-ranked Kei Nishikori, who is injured. Yoshihito Nishioka, who has a career-high ranking of 48, did not fly over from the United States because of concerns he may not be able to return there.
Gonzalo Escobar and Diego Hidalgo will face Ben McLachlan and Uchiyama in Saturday’s doubles.
The teams are playing for a place at November’s Davis Cup Finals in Madrid.
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