Tennis: Statham gets early shot ahead of Cup tie

Rubin Statham. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Rubin Statham. Photo / Sarah Ivey

New Zealand's Rubin Statham has been drawn to face top seed and Uzbekistan No1 Denis Istomin at the US$50,000 Challenger in Burnie, Australia, in the final week of tournament play before the Davis Cup campaign.

Statham and Istomin will feature when their countries clash in the Davis Cup round one tie in Tauranga next month.

Statham lost in the final round of qualifying against Josh Milton in three sets but, with the late withdrawal of another player, was drawn as a lucky loser and now faces Istomin tomorrow.

At the same tournament, fellow Kiwi and Davis Cup teammate Artem Sitak easily beat Uzbekistan's Temur Ismalov 6-1 6-2 in the first round of qualifying before going down to Australian Adam Feeney 5-7 0-6 in the second round, while Marcus Daniell lost to Australian John Peers 2-6 5-7.

Davis Cup teammates Michael Venus and Dan King-Turner were unable to make Burnie qualifying after reaching the second round of the doubles in Honolulu.

The pair now head back to Auckland for a week of training before Tauranga.

Meanwhile, New Zealand's Paige Hourigan has won the singles title at the ITF (grade 4) summer championships in Ashburton, the first of three ITF junior tournaments in New Zealand.

Hourigan knocked out third seed Yukina Saigo, from Japan, and eighth seed Young Won Jeong, from Korea, to reach the final. There, she won 6-2 6-3 against fifth seed Carina Ma Ka Man, of Hong Kong, to claim the title.

New Zealand's Kyle Butters and partner Any Lau, of Hong Kong, won the boys' doubles finals, while Kiwi Danielle Feneridis and partner Marcia Tere-Apisah (PNG) lost in the girls' doubles final.

- APNZ

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