Tennis: New Zealand team settles in Pune

Rubin Statham plays a forehand in Auckland. Photo / Getty Images
Rubin Statham plays a forehand in Auckland. Photo / Getty Images

The New Zealand Davis Cup team has settled in to the Indian city of Pune ahead of their Asia/Oceania Group 1 Davis Cup for 2017 against the host nation this week. .

The tie will be held at the Balwadi Sports Complex in India 3-5 February with the New Zealand team consisting of Rubin Statham, Finn Tearney, Michael Venus and Artem Sitak with Alistair Hunt the non-playing captain.

Statham is the most capped New Zealand Davis Cup player of all time with 26 ties to his credit.

The Indian team has been confirmed and is listed as Saketh Myneni ranked 199, Ramkumar Ramanathan 278, Yuki Bhambri at 378 and doubles specialist Leander Paes at 63.

New Zealand team captain Hunt isn't talking about results so far and wants his team to work hard in the build up to the tie and concentrate on their own game, rather than their opponents.

"Everything is pretty good here, everyone arrived safely and we have settled in well.

Hopefully we have a good week of preparation. We had two practices yesterday which both went, boys getting the feel of the courts.

"The courts are a medium pace high bouncing court. I think will be good for both teams and make for a pretty physical tie. Our boys are hitting well and injury free which is great," said Hunt.

"The heat hasn't been a factor, while the hotel is right beside the courts which eliminates travel time. For us it's about working hard this week, preparing well, sticking to our game plans and taking each point and match one day at a time on the weekend."

The last time the two nations played was in 2015 in the Asia/Oceania final in Christchurch where India won 3-2. It was one of the rare times that India had lost a doubles match in Davis Cup.

The overall record between the sides is five wins to India and three to New Zealand.

If New Zealand wins then they would face either Uzbekistan away or Korea at home.

- NZ Herald

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