Rubin Statham eyes last tournament wildcard

RUBIN STATHAM: "From my performances, and being at a career high in singles [289] and doubles [148], and winning Davis Cup group two this year, I've done everything I can to put myself in the best position."
RUBIN STATHAM: "From my performances, and being at a career high in singles [289] and doubles [148], and winning Davis Cup group two this year, I've done everything I can to put myself in the best position."

New Zealand No 1 Rubin Statham believes he has done everything he can to claim the last wildcard for next month's ATP tennis tournament in Auckland.

Statham has a singles ranking of 289, compared to Michael Venus' 401 and Artem Sitak's 564.

Wildcards have already been given out to Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis and American Jack Sock, and tournament director Karl Budge has one more up his sleeve but won't make a decision until just before qualifying begins on January 4.

He will wait to see if a big-name player asks to come to Auckland to get in some match practice before the Australian Open and, if no-one comes knocking, he'll give it to a Kiwi.

Statham believes he has done enough to get that wildcard.

"From my performances, and being at a career high in singles [289] and doubles [148], and winning Davis Cup group two this year, I've done everything I can to put myself in the best position to be allowed to play in such a prestigious event," Statham said.

"If you're playing professional tennis for New Zealand, you want to play in your home town, in front of your friends and everyone who's supported you."

Yesterday Statham beat Riki McLachlan 6-1 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the New Zealand Championships in Auckland, and today will play veteran Wesley Whitehouse for a place in tomorrow night's final.

The other semifinal is between Sean Berman and Sitak, while in the women's semifinals Sacha Jones takes on Emma Hayman and Abigail Guthrie faces Dianne Hollands.

Sunday News