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In an entertaining battle against his Davis Cup teammate Kiwi tennis No.1 Rubin Statham retained his Wellington Open crown with a straight set win over Marcus Daniell.
Statham ranked at 385 in the world in singles defeated Daniell who he warmed up with prior to the final and joked with during the match by a score of 6-4 7-6(4). Daniell is current ranked 42 in the world in doubles and put in a good effort considering singles isn’t his specialty any more.
In front of a big crowd at the Renouf Tennis Centre Daniell pushed his opponent into some quick points where possible, while Statham who will play singles for New Zealand against South Korea in Davis Cup this week in Auckland showed plenty of fitness and the ability to play one more shot than Daniell who will play doubles against Korea.
For Statham the win served its purpose and gave him what he needed prior to Davis Cup.
“He (Marcus) played some fantastic tennis and put a lot of pressure on me. I had to step it up and plays some good tennis to get over the line. They’ve done even better than last year here in Wellington with the atmosphere. It was pretty special,”
Statham and Daniell will be joined by Michael Venus and Artem Sitak as they looked towards remaining in Asia/Oceania Group 1 against some top 100 ranked opposition.
“I came down here to get matches and play tennis before Davis Cup, so I’ve achieved that. Korea have some great players, we’re looking avenging our loss to them up there last year and I think we’ve got the team to do it,” said Statham.
The women’s singles final saw the superior fitness and match play of world No.250 ranked Julia Glushko of Israel triumph over Leela Bettie. Having been ranked as high as 79 in the world and played in two Grand Slam third rounds Glushko appeared supper fit and ready to stay in any rally when necessary.
Beattie who hails from Canterbury but has been living and teaching tennis in Whanganui is planning to play in some tournaments in Australia to work on her fitness and match play before possibly playing pro tournaments again. Glushko won the match 6-0 6-2 with some great footwork and counterpunching.
Leela Beattie (Whanganui)/Brittany Yang over Nina Paripovich (Waikato)/Ivy Mclean (Wellington) 6-7(5) 6-1 12-10
(1) Julia Glushko (Israel) beat (2) Leela Beattie (Whanganui) 6-0 6-2
Ajeet Rai (Taranaki)/Rhett Purcell (Auckland) beat Pat Metham (Wellington)/Olly Sadler (Wellington)
(1) Rubin Statham (Auckland) beat (4) Marcus Daniell (Wellington) 6-4 7-6(4)