Tennis: Statham, Venus to feature in singles for New Zealand

Michael Venus celebrates after winning at the ASB Classic. Photo / Getty Images
Michael Venus celebrates after winning at the ASB Classic. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand Davis Cup captain Alistair Hunt has chosen a predictable line-up for day one of the Asia/Oceania Group One clash with South Korea is Seoul starting tomorrow.

Experienced Rubin Statham will start the tie with a clash against surprise Korean player Seong-Chan Hong the 18-year-old No.4 for his country at 438 in the world. Hong has played four Futures tournaments this year winning three out of four of them.

The second singles will feature Michael Venus against world No.63 Hyeon Chung, aged 19 a match which Hunt says will be a highlight.

"It's a predictable line-up for us in the singles. Rubin and Mike both have experience and Mike has the explosive game which can do some damage, but obviously Chung is a quality player. The Korean team is pretty strong, but quite young so it will be interesting to see how both sides handle five set matches. The weather has cleared up and it's about 10 degrees so we're looking at getting as much time on the court before matches start," said Hunt.

The doubles team for New Zealand has been listed as Venus and Artem Sitak. Venus has already won three ATP tournaments this year, while Sitak has been within the top 40 rankings with the past six months. The Koreans have named Chung and Hong as their doubles combination.

The reverse singles will be held on Sunday. There had been concerns around weather in the South Korean capital with snow covering the courts just three days ago. Temperatures are now predicted to reach around 14 degrees for tomorrow, but cold in the evening.

The winner of the tie will take on the Asia/Oceania Group One top seeds, India in July.

- NZ Herald

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