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The 2XU Compression New Zealand Davis Cup team for the Asia/Oceania Group I Round 1 tie against Uzbekistan indoors at the TECT Arena, Baypark, Tauranga 10-12 February has been confirmed.
The players named for the February Tie is Michael Venus, Artem Sitak, Rubin ‘Jose’ Statham and Dan King-Turner. All four players are currently taking part in the US$50,000 Challenger event in Honolulu in Hawaii.
New Zealand’s number one ranked player Venus is playing in through to the second round of the US$50,000 Challenger in Hawaii and has done well in Challenger events over the past couple of years. Sitak won through to the final round of qualifying at this month’s Heineken Open, while Statham won the recent New Zealand Championship title has a great record in Davis Cup for his nation with an 18-4 win-loss record for New Zealand in singles.
King-Turner, 27 returns to the side for the first time since 2010 after being sidelined for most of 2011 with an ankle injury. King-Turner combined with Venus to make the semi-finals of the Heineken Open doubles a few weeks ago. King-Turner has previously been ranked as high as 217 in July 2010.
“It’s a good solid team with some firepower and plenty of Davis Cup experience. Mike has some big weapons and has shown he can match it with the best on the day. Rubin has been a passionate and reliable performer for New Zealand with a great Davis Cup record. Artem is a true professional with great work ethic and has added a lot of depth and team spirit to our team” states Davis Cup captain Vos, who spent many years living and coaching in Mt Maunganui/Papamoa.
Having Dan back in the team for this Tie will give us more options and he formed a great partnership with Mike in doubles recently, reaching the semi-finals at the Heineken Open. Uzbekistan are a tough team and any side that has a guy like Denis Istomin in their side offers a great challenge for us. He is top 50 and obviously a quality player, but in Davis Cup, the largest annual teams event in sports, it is a about a team and a nation which makes it different than any other tournament. We are going to be well prepared for this home Tie and work together as a team and support each other. Our depth in the squad gives us playing options which can be important in a 3-day Davis Cup Tie,” says Vos.
Uzbekistan beat New Zealand in the same Tie last year in Uzbekistan 3-2. The Uzbek team is likely to be led by world No60 Denis Istomin and their No2 Farrukh Dustov who has a current ranking of 261.
After the successful trial during New Zealand’s win over the Philippines last year the tie will feature live streaming of all matches with commentators from the ASB Classic and Heineken Open, Matt Brown and Lee Radovanovich.
Tickets and corporate tables are available from the TECT Arena, Tauranga or phone Tennis New Zealand on 09 528 5428 ext 0 or 1 or purchase online via the www.tennisnz.com or www.dashtickets.com
Schedule - Davis Cup by BNP Paribas – NZ v Uzbekistan
Friday 10 February 2012
2.45pm Opening Ceremony
3pm matches start, Two Singles Rubbers
Saturday 11 February 2012
3pm start, One Doubles Rubber
Sunday 12 February 2012
11am start, Two Singles Rubbers