8 Jan 2011

Statham lone NZ player left in Heineken Open qualifying

8:27 pm on 8 January 2011

Just the national champion Rubin Statham remains from five New Zealand tennis players who entered the Heineken Open qualifying tournament in Auckland.

Statham beat The Netherlands' Matwe Middelkoop in three sets in a first round match today and will play American Ryan Sweeting next up.

Russian-born naturalised New Zealander Artem Sitak was knocked out by Frenchman Ludovic Walter in straight sets.

Earlier New Zealand No.2 Dan King-Turner retired from his first round qualifying match against world No.69 Florent Serra of France with an ankle injury, while Marcus Daniell and Oliver Statham both lost in straight sets to Adrian Mannarino of France and Argentina's Brian Dabul respectively.

Four qualifying places are up for grabs in the tough qualifying tournament that began with six players ranked inside the top 100 in the world competing.