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Rubin Statham has been selected as New Zealand’s second singles player in the Asia/Oceania Group 1 round 1 Davis Cup tie between New Zealand and Uzbekistan starting tomorrow indoors at TECT Arena in Tauranga.
However Statham who has a 19-4 singles record for New Zealand and is ranked at 554 has the tough task of player current world No58 Denis Istomin. The clash will start the tie at 3pm with Kiwi No1 Michael Venus second on court against Uzbek No2 Farrukh Dustov.
With crowd numbers steadily growing for the 2000 plus seats at the Arena the Kiwis are hoping that home advantage will help them through what is a tough contest.
“It’s great to be able to play at home and to know your friends and family can watch. It really helps and it’s such a rarity to play at home. I think it can really give you a good advantage,” says Venus.
For Rubin Statham, 24 playing first against a player who has been inside the top 40 rankings in his career is a big challenge, but he says, it’s something he is looking forward too.
“It doesn’t really matter who plays first. We’re pretty easy with it. I’ve played him (Istomin) twice before now, in Uzbekistan in Davis Cup and in a challenger in Australia a week or so ago. Maybe it’s third time lucky? I’ve learnt a lot and have a good strategy in place and have studied his matches,” says Statham “The way I see it world rankings go out the window once you step on the court to play for your country. This is my 17th tie for New Zealand I’ve got a good record and I have pride playing for my country.”
Statham is picked ahead of Artem Sitak who has the better ATP ranking, but less experience in Davis Cup.
Meanwhile Uzbek No1 Istomin is pretty relaxed about the contest. “This is a different story playing for the country in best of five set matches. I will try to do my best and get the point for my country. I try and stay on the court for us…it’s okay. I think I play well at the moment. It won’t be easy, but I think we do it,” he says.
In the doubles teams listed for Saturday New Zealand has chosen Venus and Dan King-Turner who had success at this year’s Heineken Open and at a Challenger event in Honolulu. Uzbekistan have chosen Istomin and Dustov, however combinations can be changed up until an hour prior to play.
There will be live streaming of all matches with commentary on the Tennis New Zealand website www.tennisnz.com
Live Stream Schedule:
Friday 10th February - 3pm - Two Singles Rubbers * Live Streaming will start from 2.45pm with the Opening Ceremony
Saturday 11th February - 3pm - One Doubles Rubber * Live Streaming will start from 3pm
Sunday 12th February - 11am - Two Reverse Singles Rubbers * Live Streaming will start from 11am
2XU Compression New Zealand team
Asia/Oceania Zone Group I
NEW ZEALAND v UZBEKISTAN
Venue: TECT Arena, Tauranga, New Zealand (hard – indoors)
New Zealand (with ATP rankings)
Michael Venus – 357,
Artem Sitak – 424,
Rubin Statham – 554,
Daniel King-Turner – 484(doubles)
Marcel Vos (non-playing captain)
Denis Istomin – 58,
Farrukh Dustov – 247,
Murad Inoyatov – 524.
Petr Lebed (non-playing captain)
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
Rubin Statham(NZL) v Denis Istomin(UZB)
Michael Venus(NZL) v Farrukh Dustov(UZB)
Saturday 11 February 2012
3pm start, One Doubles Rubber
Venus/Dan King-Turner(NZL) v Istomin/Dustov(UZB)
Sunday 12 February 2012
11am start, Two Reverse Singles Rubbers