New Zealand's Davis Cup team are hoping that home court advantage will assist them in their clash against South Korea in Auckland in April.
The team were beaten 4 - 1 by India in February this year, and are currently in preparation for their encounter with the South Koreans at the ASB Tennis Centre.
Artem Sitak, along with Rubin Statham, Michael Venus, and Marcus Daniell were all named in the Davis Cup team. For most players like Sitak who play overseas, there's nothing quite like being at home.
Sitak says, “It was difficult to get used to the conditions there, but we put up a good fight but it wasn't meant to be. Hopefully here, playing at home and on this court where all of us made good results that are going to make a difference. “
Sitak has identified Chung Hyeon, who will likely captain South Korea, as a threat to New Zealand.
“He's the biggest threat. He's a top one hundred player, I think he's ninety at the moment, I've seen him play many times. He played against us in the Davis Cup last year, obviously, we played him in Korea again and he was playing really well. “
New Zealand, who are led by non-travelling captain Alistair Hunt, are calling on fans to fill out the ASB Tennis centre during their Davis Cup encounter.
“That helps a lot, for example playing India in February, the stadium was packed. When we were winning points you could hear crickets, when we were winning points it felt like the whole place was going to collapse.”
With three weeks until the start of the round, there is plenty of work to be done beforehand.
Sitak will travel to Mexico this Sunday to play in two tournaments.
"I think it's good preparation on hard courts, two tournaments there. Hopefully, I get to play a lot of matches, doubles, and singles,” says Sitak.
Should New Zealand be successful in defeating South Korea, then they avoid the relegation to the second tier of the Asia/Oceania group.