8 Jan 2019

Statham stuns at ASB Classic

6:26 pm on 8 January 2019

New Zealand tennis player Rubin Statham has pulled off a huge upset to beat South Korean star Hyeon Chung in the first round of the ASB Classic.

Rubin Statham wins over Hyeon Chung during the ASB Classic.

Rubin Statham wins over Hyeon Chung during the ASB Classic. Photo: Photosport

Ranked 360th, wildcard Statham stunned the world's 25th-ranked player to pull of a 7-5 6-3 victory in front of his home crowd in Auckland.

The win is the 31-year-old's second in the main draw at his home tournament, after he beat fellow New Zealand player Daniel King-Turner in round one of the 2010 event.

But, unlike this one will, that triumph will not go down as one of the biggest upsets in ASB Classic history.

Facing a player in Chung who reached a career high ranking of 22 after making a shock run to the semifinals at last year's Australian Open, Statham was a heavy underdog heading into the match on centre court.

That tag appeared warranted as the South Korean dominated the early stages, racing out to a 5-1 lead.

Statham, though, refused to stop fighting and produced a superb comeback, breaking Chung three times and winning six straight games to take the first set 7-5.

The crucial break for the Aucklander in the second set came when he was 3-2 up.

Statham then held serve for a 5-2 buffer, before doing so again two games later to book his place in the second round against Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff, the world No 58.

The result means there are two Auckland-raised players through to round two.

Cameron Norrie, who has a world ranking of 93, was brought up in New Zealand's biggest city before relocating to England and switching his allegiance to Great Britain.