What if the All Blacks were up 20 nil at halftime against Wales and then lost the match in the last minute of play!How would the media react? Well of course not on the same scale But China came back from the "dead" to Defeat New Zealand 3-2 in the Asia -Oceania Group 2 Final.Media Coverage Nation Wide was terrible you had to be virtually in New Plymouth where the tie was played to know what was the score, especially on Sunday with the two crucial last matches played. No Television coverage and no constant updates from TNZ except an occasional web insert after a result. As the last match hung in the balance Radio Sport did have some live crosses,thank goodness the rugby match had finished for that to happen.
Tennis New Zealand CEO Steve Walker said on their Web site that despite the loss he was still happy with the advances of the Davis Cup Team this year.That indeed might be the case but the fact that this was a home game, 2-0 up and in The History of Davis Cup in five meetings with China New Zealand had never lost .There was indeed "no pot of gold at the end of this result" as New Zealand still remain in the same group.
This was a great chance to get promoted, New Zealand had the highest players ranked on the Mens Circuit in Dan King-Turner(413) and Rubin Statham(460) whilst Chinas's singles players are ranked Bai(492) and Sun (553).Statham suffered an injured thumb during his first match and could not take part again in the tie so G.D Jones(612) gained a singles rubber for Sunday.China however were always favorites for the doubles with Zeng and Yu ranked 142 and 141 in doubles whilst the Kiwi Combination of King-Turner(190) and GD Jones(486) where the inexperienced doubles pairing compared to the Chinese.The Fact also that China's singles players did not have to play in Saturday in doubles whilst Jones and King-Turner both would have to back up for Sunday's important singles matches was to be a great tactical ploy by the chinese.
Fridays matches could not have gone beter for New Zealand King -Turner defeated Sun 6-3,6-2,6-4 and Statham defeated China's number 1 Bai 4-6,6-2,6-4,6-2 but in doing so injured his thumb . China took out the doubles rubber as their specialist team won 6-2,6-4,5-7,6-4 against Jones and King-Turner.
On the Final day with New Zealand having to win one of the two singles matches to advance Bai shocked King- Turner in straight sets 6-4,6-3,6-3 to level the tie. In a see-sawing final match fitting for Davis Cup Competition Sun defeated Jones 6-3,6-7,7-5,4-6,6-3.As the match went into the 5th Jones who was cramping in the 4th set sought two medical time outs early in the 5th set.Loss of mobility was very noticeble for Jones and Sun Closed out the match 6-3 final set.And so as China celebrated a remarkable comeback New Zealand had lessons to be learned as China both mentally and Physically had the edge when the going got tougth,out playing New Zealand in team combination .
Australia will lose to Chile however these two nations will not have the chance to renew past battles as New Zealand will now remain in the same Group for next year's competition and China will find themselves in the same Group as Australia.