Auckland: New Zealand outlasted China after a marathon start to finish 4-1 winners in their Davis Cup Group I Asia-Oceania first round tie in Auckland on Sunday.
The deciding third singles was taken out by New Zealand`s Rubin Statham over China`s Zhe Li 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in the only straight sets match in the tie.
The opening singles on Friday were both five-setters with Wu Di winning for China and Michael Venus registering a win for New Zealand.
In Saturday`s doubles Marcus Daniell and Artem Sitak came from two sets down to beat Li and Zhang Ze for New Zealand to take a 2-1 lead going into the final day.
Statham, who lost to Wu on the first day, received a boost before the reverse singles when Zhang Ze pulled out injured after playing 10 sets in the first singles and doubles.
Despite being lower ranked than Li, Statham managed a service break in each set to win the match in two hours.
"It`s the first round one, group one win we`ve had for a long time," Statham said.
"It`s great that we`re through to the second round and one step closer to the World Group."
In the dead rubber, Venus beat Wang Chuchan 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.
New Zealand next play India in July for a place in the World Group qualifying round.