04 Jan Early Year Success for Irish Tennis Players
Early Year Success for Irish Tennis Players
This afternoon (4th Jan), Irish tennis found itself in the very happy position of having two of it’s leading players competing in the final qualifying rounds of the two major ATP tour events which are currently taking place in Chennai, India and Doha, Qatar.
Louk Sorensen is competing in the Chennai event and found himself today facing world number 335 Yuki Bhambri (IND) for a place in the main draw. He duly won through in three sets 6-2,6-7,6-2 and this makes Louk the first Irish player in the last 25 years to win through qualifying and claim a place in main draw of an ATP Tour event.
Louk now plays (Tuesday) Stephane Robert (FRA) and looks set to be the first Irish man of this era to win a Tour main draw match. The top seeds in this event are Robin Soderling (SWE), Marin Cilic (CRO), Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) and Janko Tipsarevic (SRB).
Almost at the same time, Conor Niland (Louk’s fellow Davis Cup team member) was doing battle with Steve Darcis (BEL) for a place in the Doha main draw. He went agonisingly close to achieving another first in losing this third round qualifying match in a third set tie-breaker. Federer, Nadal and Davydenko are the top three seeds in this event.
Today’s proceedings bode very well for the forthcoming season for Ireland’s top male players. After this week’s events, Sorensen and Niland, together with top juniors Sam Barry and John Morrissey, move on to Australia where all four will compete in the Australian Open in Melbourne which is scheduled to start on 18th January.
Niland and Sorensen will break from the ATP Tour in later February when they will lead the Irish team in Davis Cup action against Turkey (Fitzwilliam LTC from 5th – 7th March 2010). Victory in this event raises the very distinct possibility of hosting Great Britain in a second round Davis Cup tie in mid July.
For further information please contact Des Allen (firstname.lastname@example.org).