New Zealand cause huge upset in Junior Davis Cup

Tuesday, 21 May 2024

The New Zealand Junior Davis Cup team picked up a huge upset win over Chinese Taipei on day two of the tournament in Kazakhstan.

Jack Hansen Ratter lost 6-0 6-2 to Chun Wang Yen in the opening match, but Cody Atkinson then defeated Chen Kuan Shou 6-7(4) 6-4 3-0 retired, then Atkinson and Dan Kilburn teamed up in the doubles for a 1-6 6-4 10-8 win over Chun and Yu Lin Hau.

New Zealand captain Artem Sitak gave a run down on how this Asia/Oceania Qualifying tournament has gone so far.

 

“When we came here, it was really good for me to see the level in the 16s and under in Asia/Oceania, because the level is really high,” Sitak said.

“We came into this tournament ranked 12th, based on the ITF rankings. So we got put into a strong group with Australia, Chinese Taipei and Iran. Australia and Chinese Taipei are seeded No 3 and No 5.

“We played Australia first up and it was a massive battle. Dan was a few points away from getting back from a set and a break [down].

“If he would have won those points, I was pretty confident he could turn it around and win the match. He didn’t, but it was a good fight.

“Cody played Cruz Hewitt, which was a high-quality match and Cody was up 4-3 in the third, but was unlucky with a few points and ended up losing 6-4.

But every match is important in the group stage and in the doubles Jack and Cody were up against players much higher ranked. So it was a good thing we have a captain who played good doubles in his time!

“They ended up winning 10-7 in the third and doing exactly what I asked them to do, which was very pleasing.

“Then we played Chinese Taipei. Jack got a bit outplayed in his singles, but he put up a big fight and came back in the second set and had a lot of close games, but there was a bit of inexperience because it was his first ever match on clay.

“Cody then played against Chen Kuan Shou and it was one of the biggest battles I’ve witnessed. He lost the first 7-6 and I could see he was tired, but we could see the other guy was tired too. 

Cody won the second set, battling it out and then the Taipei guy started cramping in the third set and retired.

“Then in the doubles, the level was higher than I expected. So Cody and Dan played the deciding doubles. They lost the first set 6-1, but me being pretty experienced in doubles, I knew it doesn’t mean anything, all you need to do is win one set and one tiebreaker in doubles, so that’s what we focussed on.
“They made a huge effort to turn it around and that super tiebreak was up and down, but we managed to win it 10-8, so it was an epic win for us and a huge upset.

“Next we’re playing Iran, who have lost every tie 3-0, so we need to win 3-0 also and then wait to see the result of Australia v Taipei, because it will be based on that result to see if we go through to the quarters, if we win against Iran.

“But no matter what happens, I’m super proud of the boys, they played unbelievable. They played two teams much higher than them and did extremely well.”

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