The New Zealand Davis Cup team has lost its Asia/Oceania Group 1 tie to South Korea in Seoul this evening three matches to one.
The Kiwi combination of Michael Venus and Artem Sitak captured the doubles match which had been rained out the previous day. They defeated the Korean pair of Duck Hee Lee and Yong Kyu Lim 7-6 (3) 6-4 4-6 6-4 in two hours 39 minutes to give New Zealand a chance to stage what would be a remarkable comeback after earlier losing both opening day singles.
The doubles win was always looking on the cards with Venus ranked inside the top 50 and Sitak not far behind against the relatively inexperienced pair of Lee and Lim. Although the Kiwis dropped the third set, they always looked like they would take the match.
However the fourth match of the tie had world No.63 Hyeon Chung up against Rubin Statham. The Kiwi needed a victory to keep his side in the contest and then for Venus to play a potentially winnable match against either Lee or Seong Chan Hong to take out the tie.
Unfortunately Statham found Chung's ability from the back of the court and his consistency too much as the Korean won the first set 6-2 and the second more hotly contested 6-4. The third set didn't start well as Statham was broken in the first game, but then came back to break Chung's serve on one of the two opportunities he had, but Chung was able to break Statham's serve on the three occasions he had in the set and wrap up the match in one hour 50 minutes.
The Kiwis will now take on Pakistan later this year in New Zealand to remain in Asia/Oceania Group 1.