07 Jul Davis Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group II Preview
Ireland’s travelling Davis Cup team have now arrived in Nicosia in preparation for their upcoming clash with Cyprus this weekend. Play begins in this Second Round fixture of Group II of the Euro/Africa Zone on Friday at 13.00 (GMT) and the next few days will allow Sean Sorensen’s team to aclimatise to the intense Cypriot heat and familiarise themselves with the plexipave hard courts at the Cypriot National Tennis Centre. With tempratures likely to rise to 35C in Nicosia, the Irish players will be thankful of the mid to late afternoon starts where the sun may be more forgiving to the Irish.
Cyprus on the other hand will enjoy a 2,000 strong sell out crowd at the venue with the star attraction set to be the Cypriot No.1 Marcos Baghdatis, arguably Cyprus’ most famous sportstar at present. Baghdatis has been sidelined due to injury recently, suffering knee ligament damage at the Ordina Open last month. This will be his first appearance since returning from injury and the Irish team will be hoping to take advantage of this.
Ireland travel with a full strength squad to the Mediterranean island for the second time this season. Conor Niland will line out at number one for Ireland, with James McGee, Louk Sorensen and Colin O’Brien completing the travelling party. The Irish wll go into the tie brimming with confidence after their comfortable 4-1 victory over Algeria ealrier this year. Cyprus endured a tougher encounter on home soil to reach the second round, scrpaing past Portugal 3-2, once more it was the prescense of Baghdatis that helped the Cypriots through that tie winning both his singles ties and the doubles rubber with Photos Kallias.
The Irish have enjoyed a good record over Cyprus in the past with the overall match reord standing at 3-1 in favour of the Irish. However it was Cyprus who were the winners in the last encounter at Fitzwilliam LTC in 2005.
The winners of the tie will progress onto Round Three of the draw where either Finland or Monaco will wait.
Davis Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group II Match Schedule
10 July – 2 Singles Matches – 1600hrs (1300hrs GMT)
11 July – 1 Doubles Match – 1800hrs (1500hrs GMT)
12 July – 2 Singles Matches – 1600hrs (1300hrs GMT)