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Kiwis ready for Davis Cup battle

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/04/2017

South Korea will be missing their two best players, but New Zealand Davis Cup captain Alistair Hunt is still expecting a tough battle when their Asia-Oceania Group One tie begins in Auckland on Friday.

Korea's two best players, top-100 ranked Hyeon Chung and top-150 player Duckhee Lee, are being rested and preparing for ATP tournaments

Instead, Soon Woo Kwon, a 19-year-old on the rise and ranked 253 in the world, is likely to be joined by Seong Chan Hong in the singles.

Hunt has been around tennis long enough to know that rankings don't always count for much in Davis Cup, although he says the Kiwis have a better chance with two of Korea's best players absent.

"It's a good thing the two top guys aren't coming in, but it's also a bit of a shame for some people watching that we won't have a top 100 guy," he said.

"For us it's still going to be a tough weekend."

For New Zealand No.1 Rubin Statham, the tie is a chance to make amends for the team after a loss to the same side last year.

"They beat us in Seoul last year and we really want to take revenge. I know all of their players and have played them before. It's not going to be easy," he said.

Statham and Michael Venus are set to be the New Zealand singles players, with Artem Sitak and Marcus Daniell the doubles combination.

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