NZ Take First Blood in Davis Cup Tie vs Thailand
Rubin Statham and Ajeet Rai made it two from two in New Zealand’s Davis Cup tie in Invercargill on Friday.
New Zealand number one Statham took the match early to his Thai opponent Kasidit Samrej, claiming a comfortable 6-2 victory in the first set.
The second set was a much tighter affair, with a tense tiebreaker ultimately deciding the match in Statham’s favour 6-2, 7-6(8).
It was the 36-year-old's 29th Davis Cup singles win.
New Zealand’s number two Ajeet Rai similarly made short work of the first set against Thailand's Maximus Jones.
In the second set Rai and Jones traded heavy serves as the Thai player worked his way into the match.
A decisive break at 4-3 gave the momentum back to Rai and he ultimately closed out the match in an hour and twenty minutes, winning 6-1, 6-3.
It was the 24-year-old's second Davis Cup singles win.
Saturday's doubles rubber may prove decisive for the tie, with play due to commence at ILT Stadium Southland at 12pm.