Croatia advances past Japan in Davis Cup

Ivo Karlovic defeated Go Soeda in the final 2, to advance in the Davis Cup.

Kei Nishikori had taken down Ivan Dodig 7-5, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 to tie the match at 2-all, but Karlovic won in a tiebreak in the first set than cruised through the next two in a 7-6 (7-4), 6-1, 6-4 defeat of Soeda.

Croatia advances to the quarterfinals in April when they will face Argentina while Japan has been delegated to a promotion/relegation playoff in September.

The two countries split Friday's singles, but Croatia took the doubles match on Saturday.

This was the first meeting between the two nations.

Croatia captured its lone Davis Cup title in 2005, while Japan has only ever reached one final, and that resulted in a loss against the 32-time champion United States way back in 1921.