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NZ heading for crushing Davis Cup win

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/09/2016

New Zealand are on the verge of Davis Cup victory over Pakistan after easing to two rubber victories in Christchurch.

Kiwi veteran Rubin Statham thumped Abid Ali Khan Akbar 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 in the first rubber on Friday, before Finn Tearney crushed Samir Iftikhar 6-2, 6-0, 6-0.

A Kiwi win in Saturday's doubles rubber between Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell and Pakistani duo Akbar and Aqeel Khan will secure victory in the tie.

The match against Akbar marked Statham's 26th Davis Cup tie, surpassing Onny Parun's record of 25 ties.

He has won 21 and lost 14 of his Davis Cup singles matches and missed only one since his 2005 debut.

"It was a great match and I played really well the first two sets with error free tennis," Statham said.

Tearney said he was nervous before his Davis Cup live singles debut but was delighted with his performance.

"I started playing pretty well and he allowed me to play well and I managed to execute and it was a good first day," the 25-year-old said.

The loser of the tie will be relegated to Group Two in the Asia Oceania Zone.

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