New Zealand Davis Cup team named to play Venezuela
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Captain Alistair Hunt has named a strong side to contest the new look Davis Cup World Group 1 Playoff tie against Venezuela on the 6th and 7th of March.
Stalwart Rubin Statham returns to the side having not played since February last year due to hip surgery. He joins doubles specialists ATP pros Marcus Daniell and Artem Sitak, 21 year old Ajeet Rai and Finn Tearney who won the New Zealand Championships in December.
Michael Venus has made himself unavailable for the tie as he juggles family and travel with his baby Lila Hunt says it's a strong team for a tie they believe is a very winnable, especially at home.
"Marcus and Artem give us strength and experience for the doubles rubber and while it would have been nice to have Mike, I understand his decision due to juggling family commitments." Hunt said.
"Finn played extremely well over the New Zealand summer and deserves his place while having Rubin fit and healthy again is invaluable. Ajeet continues to develop and I have been impressed with his progress since playing qualifying at the ASB Classic last month."
The venue for the tie which was switched from the agreed neutral venue of Miami to New Zealand by the ITF, is expected to be confirmed shortly.
The winner of the tie will advance to a World Group 1 tie in September against a losing nation from next month's qualifiers.