Tennis: Ukraine defeats Japan in Billie Jean King Cup playoff

Marta Kostyuk sealed Ukraine's win over host Japan in their best-of-five playoff tie of the Billie Jean King Cup women's tennis team competition Saturday by defeating Moyuka Uchijima 6-0, 6-3.

Ukraine advanced to the qualifiers, where teams will have a shot at competing for a place in the cup finals. Japan lost the first three matches without winning a set in the two-day tie at Tokyo's Ariake Colosseum.

World No. 70 Kostyuk, who defeated Misaki Doi in Friday's first match, returned to the court and thoroughly outplayed Uchijima after saving a break point to hold serve in the opening game.

The 105th-ranked Uchijima lost 12 points in a row at one stretch and could only get 46 percent of her first serves in.

Later in the day, Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara picked up a consolation doubles win for Japan, defeating Lyudmyla Kichenok and Katarina Zavatska 6-3, 6-3.

© Kyodo News