Kiwi runs out of magic at ASB Classic

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
Tennis,
Publish Date
Thursday, 10 January 2019, 8:59AM
Rubin Statham reacts in his match against Jan-Lennard Struff. Photo / Getty
Rubin Statham reacts in his match against Jan-Lennard Struff. Photo / Getty

Rubin Statham has run out of magic at the ASB Classic.

The Kiwi number one is out of the Auckland tournament, losing 6-2 6-1 to German world number 58 Jan-Lennard Struff.

It was always going to be a big ask for Statham to repeat his first round heroics, where he stunned world number 25 and 2018 Australian Open semifinalist Hyeon Chung in straight sets.

It was the performance of his life, but the world number 360 didn't have a second shock left, as Struff advanced to play fourth seed Pablo Carreno-Busta in the quarter-finals.

Statham was attempting to become the first Kiwi to reach an ATP Tour quarter-final since Brett Steven in 1999, and he started with promise, earning early break points.

Several return winners and passing shots had fans hoping for a repeat performance, but the powerful Struff overcame a nervous start with some big serves, and soon broke Statham's resistance.

From 2-2, Struff reeled off four straight games to win the first set, and continued to boom down aces – 12 in total – in the second set as he clinched a comfortable victory in just 63 minutes.

New Zealand still have three representatives left in the doubles draw, with Artem Sitak, Marcus Daniell and Michael Venus all playing in the quarter-finals tomorrow.

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