10 July 2011

New Zealand has beaten the Philippines 5-0 in their Asia/Oceania Group I Davis Cup tie indoors at the TSB Hub in Hawera, Taranaki.

Having already won the contest on the second day the reverse singles were 'dead' matches, however Kiwi non-playing captain, Marcel Vos used them to give his more inexperienced players an opportunity to gain some confidence.
Marcus Daniell was put on court to take on top-20 ranked junior Jeson Patrombon in the first of the reverse singles. The home player using his strong serve to good effect to win the contest 4-6 6-3 6-3. In the second of the reverse singles Russian-born Artem Sitak showed plenty of resolve as he took on former top 100 player and now "Team Sharapova" hitting partner Cecil Mamiit.

Despite a code violation by Mamiit as a result of a courtside sign taking a kicking, Sitak was able to maintain his concentration and take away a win 6-4 7-5 to secure the 5-0 win, something which had Vos thrilled in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

"Five nil is what we wanted. It's what we were hoping for at the beginning of the clash.  It was a real team effort.  Mike had a close one on the first day and together with Rubin they gave us a good start.  For Artem and Marcus to win the doubles gave us the 3-0 win.  Being 3-0 up gave us the opportunity to give Marcus and Artem a chance to play in the singles.  I'm really proud of the team to play the way they did," said Vos.
Earlier on day two New Zealand had won the doubles match featuring Daniell and Sitak over Ruben Gonzales and Mamiit in straight sets.  The first time Daniell had been in a winning Davis Cup match and the first match in New Zealand for Sitak.  The victory was also the first doubles win for the Kiwi Davis Cup team since the clash with Indonesia in 2009.

Day one saw Rubin Statham continue his good Davis Cup form with a straight set win against Gonzales while Michael Venus beat Mamiit in five games in a nearly four hour contest.

Venus and Sitak now travel to a US$1000,000 Challenger at Aptos in California while Statham also travels to professional tournaments and Daniell has a couple of weeks at home before leaving for overseas

New Zealand will now remain in Group I of Asia/Oceania in Davis Cup potentially alongside teams such as Australia, Taiwan, Uzbekistan and Japan, all of whom have top 100 players.  However the Kiwi team won’t get to play another match until February of next year with their opposition to be decided in September.