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Sun to debut for NZ at Billie Jean King Cup

Updated: Apr 11

Lulu Sun Tennis NZ Billie Jean King Cup
Lulu Sun is a welcome addition to the New Zealand Billie Jean King Cup team. PHOTO: WTA

Lulu Sun will represent her nation of birth for the first time in the Billie Jean King Cup competition this week.

The former Swiss player is now with the New Zealand team as they play against China, India, Pacific Oceania and Chinese Taipei over the week in the Asia/Oceania Group I competition, previously known as the Fed Cup.

The tournament is being held on clay courts in Changsha, China with the New Zealand team consisting of Sun, Erin Routliffe, Valentina Ivanov, Paige Hourigan and Monique Barry. 

Team captain Matt Hair, says managing the team and targeting specific opponents will be crucial over the week, as he tries to secure one of the top two spots for promotion.

Sun, who has a current WTA singles ranking of 169 will need to be fresh for the big singles matches and team her up with Routliffe who is fifth in the world for the doubles on the right occasions. 

“We’ll look at targeting some ties. Obviously important to keep Lulu fresh throughout the week. It’s great to have Lulu here, she’s 169 in the world and that’s a great bonus for our team to have her playing.

“It will come down to the doubles, it’s a day to day thing and obviously, how we’re looking after the singles. 

“But we’re wary to keep her fresh throughout the week for her singles.”

The Te Anau-born Sun recently completed her switch to represent New Zealand, rather than Switzerland, and it was clear at this year’s ASB Classic how popular she had already become among the Kiwi tennis-loving public.

China have included world No 7 Zheng Qinwen in their team and also three other players ranked inside the world’s top 60.

“We’re looking at it one tie at a time at the moment and just concentrating on Korea.

“I think Korea, India, Chinese Taipei and us are very similar and on any given day, anyone can beat anyone from those teams. So those are the matches that are going to be the tough ones.

“We’re hoping for a decent win against Pacific Oceania and China is a very strong team they’ve got here this year," said Hair.

New Zealand will play South Korea first up in the tournament in China in what will be a crucial contest if they want to finish in the top-two and gain promotion.


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