Tennis: Statham breaks Parun's Davis Cup record

Rubin Statham hits a back hand against Alejandro Falla. Photo / Getty Images
Rubin Statham hits a back hand against Alejandro Falla. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand tennis number two Rubin Statham will set a new record for New Zealand in Davis Cup tennis when he plays the opening singles rubber in the Asia/Oceania Group 1 tie against Pakistan at Wilding Park in Christchurch tomorrow.

Statham will surpass Onny Parun's record of 25 Davis Cup ties when he plays Pakistan number two Mohammad Abid Ali Khan Akbar from 11am.

New Zealand captain Alistair Hunt has chosen Kiwi number one Finn Tearney and Statham for the opening day's singles with Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell to play Saturday's doubles rubber.

Rubin Statham and Alistair Hunt after Davis Cup draw

Tearney will play the second singles rubber against Samir Iftikar.

29-year-old Statham has a 20 win, 14 loss record in Davis Cup singles matches and has only missed one tie since his debut as a 17 year old against Kazakhstan in 2005.

It's the first time 25 year old Tearney has been chosen for a live singles rubber with Hunt explaining proven performer Michael Venus has not played any singles matches in the past few months, being a factor.

Venus and Daniell were the obvious choice for the doubles with rankings of 41 and 56 respectively and enjoying career best seasons on the ATP World Tour.

They play acting Pakistan captain Aqueel Khan and Akbar in Saturday's doubles.

Venus and Daniell teamed together at the Rio Olympics and had two match points against their Dutch opponents before losing in a third set tiebreaker.

Sunday's singles rubbers feature Tearney against Akbar and Statham against Iftikar.
The winner of the tie retains its place in Asia Oceania Group 1 for 2017 with the loser relegated to Group 2.

- Radio Sport

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