Return Winners: the 2016 Great Britain & Japan Davis Cup tieBy Mar 07, 2020
Remaining Big 4 stars don't plan to follow Roger Federer into retirementBy Sep 28, 2022
Tennis Honors: Roger Federer
Roger Federer’s Laver Cup sendoff represented everything that made his career one-of-a-kindBy Sep 24, 2022
WATCH: Casper Ruud struggles with Big 4 inside jokes, shines on court at Laver CupBy Sep 23, 2022
Larger than life: Roger Federer "never" dreamed his swan song would involve a Big Four reunionBy Sep 23, 2022
Facts & Stats
Federer, Nadal, Djokovic & Murray: Playing together one last timeBy Sep 23, 2022
Laver Cup Preview: Roger Federer takes final bow amid team spectacleBy Sep 22, 2022
Roger, Rafa, Novak & Andy: Team Europe practice session unites 'Big Four' on the same courtBy Sep 22, 2022
Laver Cup Laughs: Federer, Djokovic, Murray & more step out by Tower BridgeBy Sep 22, 2022
Andy Murray shouts out Roger Federer, “hero” mom Judy in adorable kids press conferenceBy Sep 20, 2022
Return Winners: the 2016 Great Britain & Japan Davis Cup tie
The two nations faced off for a chance to advance in the team competition.
Published Mar 07, 2020
Defending champions Great Britain faced Japan in the 2016 Davis Cup first round.
After decades of futility, Great Britain finally won its 1oth Davis Cup championship in 2015. Over the course of their title-winning campaign, Andy Murray put on a display for the ages as he became the third player to go 8-0 in singles over a year.
Kicking off their push for a repeat performance in 2016, the defending champions were drawn to face Japan in the first round. After dropping its opening tie in 2015, Japan—led by its top singles standout Kei Nishikori—was forced to the playoff round, where it defeated Colombia to rejoin the 2016 World Group.
Playing in Birmingham, England, one thing both squads had in common was that they were led by a top-10-caliber player in singles, while the No. 2 in that discipline was ranked well outside of the top 50. As expected, on the first day, Murray easily handled world No. 87 Taro Daniel in the opening rubber. Japan soon leveled the tie when Nishikori topped Daniel Evans—ranked 157 in the world, 151 spots behind him—in straight sets.
On the middle day of the tie, Andy Murray teamed up with his older brother Jamie to take on Yoshihito Nishioka and Yasutaka Uchiyama. Jamie Murray, ranked No. 2 in doubles after starting the season with his first men’s Grand Slam at the Australian Open, helped the home team take a 2-1 lead going into the reverse singles.
First up was the marquee matchup between Nishikori and world No. 2 Andy Murray. Going into the fourth rubber, Murray carried a 5-1 lead in their head-to-head encounters and the Scot grinded out a two-sets-to-love advantage in this match. Nishikori, with a physical baseline game similar to Murray’s, then took the next two to level the affair. In the fifth, though, Murray gained an early advantage and hung on for a 6-3 win to clinch the tie for Great Britain and send the nation on to the quarterfinals.
This was the first time Great Britain had to play a tie after winning the title the year before. The nation’s earlier victories came when the defending champion went automatically to the final the following year.
Nishikori dropped only his third career singles rubber against 20 wins during this tie.
The match between Nishikori and Murray took nearly five hours to complete, and was the longest of Murray’s career to this point.