The Men’s Irish Open commences today (Monday 22nd May) at Fitzwilliam LTC on Appian Way.
This year’s event is a $15,000 Futures Event and features an eight-strong Irish contingent in the main draw of 32 players battling against foreign opposition for the 25 valuable world ranking points available for the winner of the tournament.
Top-seeded American Ryler Deheart reached the second round of last year’s U.S. Open where he was ousted by World Number One, Rafael Nadal. The 25 year-old arrives in Dublin in good form having won a Challenger event earlier this month in the United States. He is currently ranked 228 in the world.
Current Irish Davis Cup players James McGee, Colin O’Brien and Barry King have all qualified for the tournament on the basis of their entry rankings. McGee is the highest ranked of the home players at 520 and is seeded fourth. He opens his campaign against Czech Jakub Praibas on Monday. King is fresh from a career-best run to the final of the Brookfield Futures event last week and will take on Frenchman Vincent Stouff on Tuesday.
Wild cards have been awarded to Tristan Farron-Mahon, James Cluskey, Eoin Heavey and up-and-coming junior John Morrissey who takes on 24 year old Briton Timothy Bradshaw in the evening match at 6.00pm [on Monday]. Morrissey, who does not turn 17 until August, will be playing in the qualifying competition for Junior Wimbledon after his participation in the Irish Open event.
Greystones’ Niall Fitzgerald is the final Irish player in the draw, having survived two three set tussles over the weekend in the Qualifying Event against local rivals Conor Taylor and Fiachra Lennon to book his place in the Main Draw.
Play commences at 11.00am running through the day with an evening match at 6.00pm each evening and admission is free.