New Zealand's top singles player Rubin Statham has had a strong first round singles win at the ATP Challenger tournament in Almaty in Kazakhstan.
Statham has beaten Austrian fourth seed Sebastian Offner 6-3 6-2 in 1 hour 7. It's a terrific win over the world number 143 for the 361st ranked Kiwi who battled through three rounds of qualifying to make the main draw.
He will next face Chinese Taipei's Yang Tsung-hua who is ranked 224 this evening (NZT) The pair have played once before with Statham winning a Davis Cup encounter in straight sets in 2014.
Meanwhile Artem Sitak has got his new doubles partnership with India's Divij Sharan off to a winning start in the Netherlands. The pair have easily beaten Spaniard's Fernando Verdasco and David Marrero 6-3 6-3 in 56 minutes in the first round of the ATP 250 tournament in S-Hertgotenbosch.
Kiwi number one Michael Venus and his South African partner Raven Klaasen will play their first round match early tomorrow morning against Australian wildcards Lleyton Hewitt and Alex Bolt.