4 Feb 2017

NZ Davis Cup captain gives nod to best ranked players

9:28 am on 4 February 2017

The New Zealand Davis Cup team has kept the faith with its highest ranked singles players for this weekend's Davis Cup clash against India in Pune.

New Zealand tennis player Finn Tearney.

New Zealand tennis player Finn Tearney. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

New Zealand captain Alistair Hunt confirmed Finn Tearney and Rubin Statham will play the opening day singles in the opening matches of the Asia/Oceania Group 1 round one clash.

Michael Venus and Artem Sitak are down for the doubles on day two.

On day one Tearney ranked 414 will play the opening match against Yuki Bhambri (368) followed by Statham at 417 facing Ramkumar Ramanathan ranked 276 in the world.

"It's no surprise who they selected and our guys are playing well and practising well. I'm happy with our selections and our players are ready to take on the challenge ahead," said Hunt.

Hunt describes the courts as medium paced, but with a high bounce and potentially difficult to negotiate.

He also expects big hometown support, especially when the popular Leander Paes teams up with Vishnu Vardham in the doubles on Saturday.

"The courts have a high bounce, plus we're at elevation in the city so it's going to be a tough physical tie and there's going to be a lot of shots hit off-balance with some quick points as well. We're expecting a big crowd with the seating full at around 2000 people, they should all be there cheering on Leander during the doubles, but we're ready for it."

The last time the two nations played was in 2015 in the Asia/Oceania final in Christchurch where India won 3-2. It was one of the rare times that India had lost a doubles match in Davis Cup competition.

The overall record between the sides is five wins to India and three to New Zealand.

If New Zealand wins then they would face either Uzbekistan away or Korea at home.