4 Jan 2014

Favourable draw for Statham at NZ Open

1:15 pm on 4 January 2014

The draw's been made for next week's New Zealand tennis Open in Auckland, and it's been favourable for the only New Zealander so far in the main draw.

Wildcard Rubin Statham, the national number one, will play a qualifier in his opening round.

Statham's spot was only officially confirmed this morning, when world number four Andy Murray turned down the wildcard he was offered, following the Wimbledon champion's early exit from a tournament in Qatar.

There are eight other New Zealanders competing in qualifying, which began this morning.

Four of them are pitted against each other, guaranteeing at least two will make the second of three rounds of qualifying.

The four top seeds, David Ferrer, Tommy Haas, John Isner and Kevin Anderson, all have byes into the second round of the main draw.

The feature match on the opening day pairs former Australian Open finalist and wildcard Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus against Germany's world number 54, Daniel Brands.