The 35-year-old former world number eight fired down 18 aces
to quell the challenge of his 146th ranked opponent in three
hours, 53 minutes at the Ariake Coliseum after going down in a
tight first set tiebreak.
The Czechs, who are targeting a third successive title, will
look to lock up an imposing 2-0 lead when Lukas Rosol takes on
21-year-old Taro Daniel in the second singles rubber later on
Ito and Daniel are bearing the weight of Japan's hopes of
progressing after world number 18 Kei Nishikori withdrew with a
groin strain and Go Soeda was laid low by a fever.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; editing by Peter Rutherford)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.