2014 US Open runner-up Kei Nishikori will be replaced by world No. 121 Go Soeda in the Japan ATP Cup team, while doubles specialist Toshihide Matsui is set to replace rising Japanese star Yasutaka Uchiyama. Just days before the inaugural ATP Cup, the Japan ATP Cup team suffered a major blow after injuries forced top-ranked Japanese Nishikori and world No.
81 Uchiyama to withdraw from the event in Australia. Yoshihito Nishioka, ranked at No. 73 in the world, is now the highest ranked Japanese player in the team and he and former world No. 47 Soeda will have a tough task of leading Japan to the knockout stage.
Japan will start its ATP Cup campaign on Saturday against Uruguay as Soeda will take on Martin Cuevas in the opening rubber of the tie, before Nishioka faces world No. 45 Pablo Cuevas in the following rubber. It remains to be seen can the Japanese make a huge surprise and finish on top of Group B -- or even contend for the second place -- in a group in which they will also be battling against Georgia on Monday and Spain on Wednesday, respectively.