New Zealand draw Korea at home in Davis Cup Group 1
A familiar foe awaits New Zealand in September’s Davis Cup Group one tie. Alistair Hunt’s team has been drawn against Korea in the tie to be played on either the 18th and 19th or 19th and 20th of September. New Zealand will be at home for the tie.
The Kiwi beat Venezuela 3-1 in the playoff in Auckland last week and a win over Korea would propel them into next March’s qualifying round with the winners to advance to the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid.
Captain Alistair Hunt felt it would be a good tie.” We have played them a lot of times in the last few years and have had some tough battles. Sometimes we have had a loss and others have come out on top. So, it’s a good draw for us and an exciting tie.” Hunt said.
However, getting past Korea will be no easy feat. Their number one singles player Soonwoo Kwon is ranked 70. Hyeon Chung made the 2018 Australian Open semi finals and has been rankled just outside the top 20. The 23-year-old had an injury plagued season in 2019 and is currently ranked 142. The top six ranked Korean players are ranked higher than New Zealand number one Rubin Statham.
Of most concern for Hunt is seeing the New Zealand players get some tournament play in with everything on hold now due to the coronavirus.
The two countries have played each other 12 ties with New Zealand winning eight, most recently in Auckland in 2017. Korea won the last tie 3-2 in Korea in 2018.
While winners of the ties will advance to the 2021 Qualifiers, losing nations will contest the World Group I Play-offs, where they will face the winners of the 12 World Group II ties.
World Group I 2020 draw:
Bolivia v (1) Belgium
(2) Argentina v Belarus
Pakistan v (3) Japan
Uruguay v (4) Netherlands
Slovakia v (5) Chile
Finland v (6) India
Norway v (7) Uzbekistan
Lebanon v (8) Brazil
New Zealand v (9) Korea, Rep.
Romania v (10) Portugal
Peru v (11) Bosnia/Herzegovina
Ukraine v (12) Israel