Rubin Statham has given New Zealand the perfect start to the Asia Oceania Group 1 relegation tie against Pakistan at Z Energy stadium in Christchurch.
The Kiwi number two marked breaking Onny Paruns Davis Cup record 25 ties with an emphatic straight sets drubbing of Pakistan number two Mohammad Abid Ali Khan Akbar.
The 29 year has given New Zealand the first point with a 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 victory for his 21st Davis Cup win in his 35thmatch.
Statham was too consistent for the 26 year old the back of the court and constantly had Akbar under pressure on serve. Akbar only managed one break point against Stathams serve in the first set and never recovered from losing the opener 6-0.
When Statham broke serve in the second game of the second set to lead 2-0 it looked like he could be heading for another bagel. But Akbar was able to break serve in the 3rd game to get on the board. Statham though hit back immediately with a break and then eventually served out the set 6-1, closing it with a wonderful backhand winner down the line.
Akbar improved his level in the third set, led 3-2 and had Statham 0-30 on serve, but that was as close as he got to getting back into the match.
Statham rallied to hold and then shifted gear, breaking Akbar to love to seize control.
Kiwi number one Finn Tierney and Samir Iftikhar play the second singles rubber this afternoon.
New Zealands Olympic doubles pairing of Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell play acting Pakistan captain Aqeel Khan and Akbar in tomorrows doubles.
The winner of the tie retains its place in Asia Oceania Group 1 for 2017 with the loser relegated to Group 2.
Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell v Aqueel Khan and Mohammad Abid Ali Khan Akbar
For score updates during the tie follow Tennis NZ on Twitter @tennisnz
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from New Zealand Tennis