Tennis: New Zealand outclasses Pakistan in Davis Cup tie

By Matt Brown in Christchurch

Marcus Daniell and Michael Venus of New Zealand in action at the Rio Games. Photo / Getty Images
Marcus Daniell and Michael Venus of New Zealand in action at the Rio Games. Photo / Getty Images

The Kiwi doubles pairing of Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell have outclassed their Pakistan opponents in straight sets to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in their Davis Cup tie in Christchurch.

Venus with a world ranking of 41 and Daniell 56 have completed a 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Aqeel Khan and Mohammad Abid Ali Khan Akbar in one hour and 14 minutes.

From the outset the Kiwis who only lost seven games in six sets of tennis in Friday's singles rubbers, looked as if they were in a hurry to make it to the All Blacks v Springboks test.

They make a rampaging start, dominating on serve and at the net. The Kiwi combination who had two match points against a strong Dutch team at the Olympics were too classy for their rivals who have spent their careers in the lower levels of professional tennis, playing futures and college tennis.

Venus held serve in his opening game to love and strong returning saw Khan broken in his first service game. New Zealand raced to 5-0 in 13 minutes before Khan put up resistance in his second service game, but couldn't prevent New Zealand winning the opening set on their second set point 6-0 in 22 minutes.

Daniell and Venus dropped just two points on serve in the first set.

The Pakistan duo showed some fight in the second set and had Venus under pressure at 15-40 in his opening service game of the set, but the Kiwi staved off the break points with some powerful serving. It broke the visitors resolve as Khan was broken to love in the next game with Venus and Daniell's athleticism at the net too hot to handle, as they won the second set 6-1 in 24 minutes.

The assault continued in the third set with Khan and Akbar clueless against the regular ATP tour pros who will head back to Europe tomorrow night for next week's ATP tournament in Metz, France.

The Kiwis clinched the third set and the match 6-2.

The result means Pakistan are relegated to Asia/Oceania Group 2 next year while New Zealand remain in Group one with the chance to push for a prestigious World Group qualifying tie next September.

The likes of China, South Korea and India assuming they lose to Spain this weekend, will be potential opponents next February. (3rd to 5th)

Tomorrow's reverse singles matches will be best of three sets affairs starting at 11 o'clock with Finn Tearney scheduled to face Mohammad Abid Ali Khan Akbar followed by Rubin Statham against Samir Iftikhar.

- NZ Herald

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