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26 Feb 2017 7:06
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Tennis

    Statham exit ends Kiwi hopes in Classic

    New Zealand's last men's singles competitor Rubin Statham bows out of the ASB Classic in Auckland with a second loss to 2015 champion Jiri Vesely.


    Kiwi hopes have ended in the ASB Classic men's singles draw after Rubin Staham was beaten by Czech Jiri Vesely.

    No.434 ranked Statham's tenacity impressed despite losing in three sets to 2015 champion Vesely 7-6 (8-6) 5-7 3-6.

    His ability to win points on serve kept him in the match as he claimed the first set before seeming to tire in the last.

    Yet his spirited performance was not the only surprise with his appearance in the match itself being unexpected.

    He had earlier been eliminated in Sunday's second round of qualifying by American Ryan Harrison but was reinstated into the draw as a so-called lucky loser replacement after top seed Roberto Bautista Agut withdrew.

    Statham's exit follows that of fellow Kiwis Artem Sitak, Michael Venus and Finn Tearney who earlier lost in the first round.

    Statham tackled his singles draw after earlier teaming up with Tearney in the doubles where the duo fell to to the combination of Britain's Dominic Inglot and Romanian Florin Mergea 7-5 7-5.

    However, Kiwi hopes remain alive in the doubles after Sitak and partner American Nicholas Monroe won through to the quarter finals.

    The duo came from behind in the tie break to beat fellow Kiwi Venus and Swedish partner Robert Lindstedt, the event's No.2 seeds, 6-3 3-6 10-8.

    © 2017 NZN, NZCity


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