New Zealand tennis player Rubin Statham has pulled off a huge upset to beat South Korean star Hyeon Chung in the first round of the ASB Classic.
Ranked 360th, wildcard Statham stunned the world’s 25th-ranked player to pull of a 7-5 6-3 victory in front of his home crowd in Auckland.
The win is the 31-year-old’s second in the main draw at his home tournament, after he beat fellow New Zealand player Daniel King-Turner in round one of the 2010 event.
But, unlike this one will, that triumph will not go down as one of the biggest upsets in ASB Classic history.
Facing a player in Chung who reached a career high ranking of 22 after making a shock run to the semifinals at last year’s Australian Open, Statham was a heavy underdog heading into the match on centre court.
That tag appeared warranted as the South Korean dominated the early stages, racing out to a 5-1 lead.
Statham, though, refused to stop fighting and produced a superb comeback, breaking Chung three times and winning six straight games to take the first set 7-5.
The crucial break for the Aucklander in the second set came when he was 3-2 up.
Statham then held serve for a 5-2 buffer, before doing so again two games later to book his place in the second round against Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff, the world No 58.
The result means there are two Auckland-raised players through to round two.
Cameron Norrie, who has a world ranking of 93, was brought up in New Zealand’s biggest city before relocating to England and switching his allegiance to Great Britain.