5 Mar 2015

Statham to lead NZ Davis Cup team

4:00 pm on 5 March 2015

Rubin Statham will lead the New Zealand Davis Cup tennis team on day one of the Asia/Oceania Group one clash with China starting tomorrow in Auckland.

Rubin Statham

Rubin Statham Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Statham will play the Chinese number two Di Wu in the first match of the tie, followed by Michael Venus against the Chinese number one Ze Zhang, who is ranked 191 in the world.

The pairing of Artem Sitak and Marcus Daniell have been listed as the doubles team for New Zealand and will play from 3pm on Saturday against Ze Zhang and Zhe Li while the reverse singles commence at 11am on Sunday.

The winner of the tie will play India in July in what is effectively the final of the Asia/Oceania Group.

New Zealand team captain Alistair Hunt expects a hard contest and hopes crowd support will help.

"Rubin always gives so much in Davis Cup and is on his way back from injury with some strong results this year while Mike had a good Heineken Open and Australian Open and the doubles boys, Artem and Marcus won the ATP title in Montpellier and are in top form. People shouldn't underestimate China they have guys in the top 200 and plenty of experience. I really hope Kiwis can come out and get behind the local team," says Hunt.

New Zealand leads China in head-to-head contests, however China has won the last two ties, including a 3-1 victory in 2014 in China.