Italy takes lead against Japan

Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini won their doubles tie against the Japanese pair Yasutaka Uchiyama and Ben McLachlan.

Fabio Fognini (R) and Simone Bolelli of Italy celebrate a point in their doubles match against Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan.   -  Getty Images

Italy took the lead against Japan on Saturday after the second day of its Davis Cup World Group clash as Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini won the doubles in style.

The Italian duo thrashed Yasutaka Uchiyama and New Zealand-born Ben McLachlan 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 in the compact Morioka Takaya Arena.

Read: Japan, Italy all square after epic day

The Japanese team barely won the second set after it went to a tie-breaker, but the 2015 Australian Open doubles champion secured the decisive third set following another tie-break.

The Italian pair overpowered its Japanese rival in the fourth set to take the match, silencing local fans.

The victory gave Italy a 2-1 lead as the showdown heads to the final day.

On Sunday, world number 22 Fognini will take on Yuichi Sugita, ranked 41 in the world, who has led the Japanese squad after a wrist injury sidelined Kei Nishikori.

The final match on Sunday will pit Japan's Taro Daniel, ranked a lowly 100 in the world in singles, against veteran Andreas Seppi.

Japan are looking to reach the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup for only the second time after Nishikori helped them reach the last eight in 2014.

Italy was champion back in 1976 and has finished runner-up on six occasions.

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