BEIJING (AP) _ China won the doubles Saturday and took a 2-1 lead over Japan in the Davis Cup Eastern zone semifinal tennis series.

Liu Shuhua and Ma Keqin beat Eiji Takeuchi and Masayoshi Takeyari 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the city of Tianjin, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

China and Japan split two singles matches Friday, when Liu defeated Shuzo Matsuoka, the Japanese national champion, and Tsuyoshi Fukui bested Ma.

Ma will play Shuzo Matsuoka while Liu and Tsuyoshi Fukui will meet in reverse singles Sunday.

Japan beat China 4-1 last year in the Eastern zone semifinals.