Irish Tennis [Archive] -

Irish Tennis

06-01-2008, 04:07 PM
Thought we needed a thread for our Irish tennis players.
Hopefully our two main guys Sorensen and Niland can continue their good form this year Sorensen is on the list for qualifiers in Wimbledon.

06-03-2008, 04:42 PM
Yeah, hopefully! Irish tennis desparately needs someone to start posting some good results, otherwise the sport is just going to get less and less attention in the media and less people are going to start playing until we have virtually no chance of producing a top player.

I just looked up the site for the Shelbourne Open and saw that it's been brought up to a $75,000 Challenger (from a $50,000 last year). Not exactly a Masters, but it's good to see they're at least trying to build it up and make it a bigger event.

06-06-2008, 09:20 PM
Sorensen could make it into the top 200 this year which would be fantastic, I'm hopeful that Niland could follow him next year.
If we beat Ukraine in the next DC tie then we should play Cyprus, I'm not sure where it would be played but the chance for the lads to challenge Baghdatis would be great!

06-06-2008, 09:24 PM
Sorensen could make it into the top 200 this year which would be fantastic, I'm hopeful that Niland could follow him next year.
If we beat Ukraine in the next DC tie then we should play Cyprus, I'm not sure where it would be played but the chance for the lads to challenge Baghdatis would be great!

If you play Cyprus, the venue is in Cyprus, if Ireland and Portugal advances, Ireland plays at home

Good luck to Ireland :)

06-15-2008, 05:30 PM
The irish independent seems to think that Niland will be at Wimbledon qualifiers too. Even though he's still seven out on the list atm. Would be great if one of them could qualify. There is a futures event on in Limerick this week. Anyone know if there are any young irish players there who could make a mark in the future?

06-15-2008, 09:34 PM
Hi! anyone know what dates the Irish Open is on?! (i know its around the same time as Wimbledon, but not sure of the exact dates?!)

06-17-2008, 12:54 PM
June 29th - July 5th.

Louk Sorensen is through to the second Qualifying round at Wimbledon, btw. Niland did make it to the qualifiers but lost 6-7, 6-4, 6-4. Unlucky.

Henry Chinaski
06-17-2008, 09:20 PM
Sorensen had to retire at a set all v Roger-Vasselin. Very unlucky but promising that he took a set from a guy that reached the third round last year. Hope he's fit for Dublin.

06-21-2008, 10:53 PM
Anyone know if there are any young irish players there who could make a mark in the future?

Sam Barry (Born: 28th March 1991) won a Grade 4 in Estonia a few weeks ago, could be a promising talent.

07-21-2008, 09:26 PM
Ireland (minus injured Louk Sorensen) were beaten by Ukraine :sad:

08-02-2008, 03:14 PM
The two Junior tournaments in Cork and Dublin went on over the last fortnight. Cork was a total disaster for the Irish kids in attendance, all knocked out in the first round aside from Irish vs. Irish matchups, but the Dublin tournament was won by 15 year old John Morrissey, who also made it to the finals of the Doubles.

Henry Chinaski
08-08-2008, 05:45 AM
Conor Niland has equalled his career best result by reaching the semi-final of the New Dehli challenger.

He beat top seed Danai Udomchoke in the qf and plays 18 y/o Aussie Brydan Klein (rank #289) in the semis. Good opportunity.

08-09-2008, 05:19 PM
Conor won the final! Well done for him

Henry Chinaski
08-09-2008, 07:05 PM
good stuff. will be well inside the top 300 after this I presume.

08-12-2008, 09:47 PM
What ever happend to louk's brother, kevin sorensen? He got a career high of 300 something, then all of a sudden, he stopped:(

09-14-2008, 08:32 PM
did he not get injured and then his ranking dropped and he never came back?
Last week was a good week for the Irish. Louk Conor James and Colin all made qfs in their events, beating higher ranked opponents on the way.

09-18-2008, 04:55 PM
Also, John Morrissey, who won the Dublin event recently, made it to the finals of a Grade 4 in Cyprus last week and won the doubles tournament. He's also through to the QFs at another Grade 4 this week, in Israel. :)

10-05-2008, 03:02 PM
Players in ireland are gonna to start improving big time, juniors are getting great results in Europe

Hopefully Niland can break top 200 soon

01-09-2009, 08:35 PM
Sorensen and Niland have just squeezed into the quali in Aus Open. Hope they both make it over and play. Also have two in the qualis of the junior event. Surely thats the most ppl we've had at a GS in a long time?

Henry Chinaski
01-09-2009, 09:26 PM
Good stuff. Sorensen might well have qualified for Wimbledon but for injury.

Henry Chinaski
01-14-2009, 04:20 AM
Sorensen d. Crivoi (13) 4/6 7/6 6/3

Not sure how the 2nd set went but I half followed the breaker and he didn't need to save any mp's. think he won it to 3. In the 3rd set he broke in the 3rd game and held without ever facing a bp until 5-3, then broke again for the match.

Impressive win against a guy currently ranked 179 places above him.

01-15-2009, 01:35 AM
Great result for Louk! It would be awesome to see an Irish person in the MD of a major at last.

Not so good news for Conor Niland, however. He lost 1 and 3.

Henry Chinaski
01-17-2009, 12:44 AM
Disappointing loss for Sorensen against Polansky after taking the first set. Polansky now plays Patience which would've been a very winnable match....

01-22-2009, 09:15 PM

01-03-2010, 02:33 PM
Interesting time with two irishmen on the verge of main draws.

Henry Chinaski
01-03-2010, 06:33 PM
yeah, good result for Sorensen beating Young. Good scoreline too. he lost a lot of tight matches against higher ranked players towards the end of last season.

winnable match against Bhambri coming up though the Indian had an impressive win over top seed marchenko in the last round.

Looks tougher for Niland who'll have to get past Darcis I think.

01-04-2010, 08:49 PM
Im gutted for Niland since I prefer him to Sorenson.

01-05-2010, 03:28 AM
Congrats to Louk for taking out Brambi 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-2 and making it into the Chennai Open. This looks extremely promising as he rolled in sets 1 and 3 and lost in close tiebreak in the second set.

First round match is against Stephane Robert of France:

Here is the draw:

And here is the schedule:

He gets the late, late match on Court 2. :lol: Louk wouldn't have it any other way. :lol:

C'mon Louk! :yeah:

His 25th birthday is on Thursday. This could be quite a gift. If he beats Stephane, he gets the winner of the Ventura-Berrer match. These points are crucial.
Sympathies to Conor for losing 7-6(4) in the third set to Darcis at Doha. :sad:

01-05-2010, 04:19 AM
Do you think Louk should have his own thread?

Article from Irish Independent (
by Paddy Hickey

Sorensen's dream of taking on the big guns comes true

LOUK SORENSEN has given Irish tennis a massive boost by qualifying for the main draw of a top-tier ATP Tour event for the first time.

Sorensen yesterday achieved his ambition of joining the big guns of men's tennis with a 6-2 6-7 (6/8) 6-2 win over young Indian sensation Yuki Bhambri in the $398,000 Aircel Open in Chennai, India.

And Conor Niland yesterday went tantalisingly close to emulating the performance of his Davis Cup team-mate in the $1,024,000 Exxon Open, in Doha, Qatar.

After overwhelming Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the second round of the qualifying series, the 288-ranked Limerick man suffered a heartbreaking 1-6 6-1 7-6 (7/4) defeat to Belgium's Steve Darcis.

Sorensen, ranked No 293 in the world, played in the qualifying round of two ATP Tour events last year but failed to advance on both occasions.


Now he finds himself in the 32-strong main draw along with the likes of Sweden's world No 8 Robin Soderling, who beat Roger Federer last week, and Croatia's 14-ranked Maric Cilic, conqueror of Andy Murray in last year's US Open.
Like Niland, Stuttgart native Sorensen, who today faces France's Stephane Robert, had three matches in the qualifying round.

His second contest featured a notable 7-6 7-6 victory over former world U-18 No 1 Donald Young of the United States.
Meanwhile, Belgium's Justine Henin made a triumphant return to professional tennis with a 7-5 7-5 win over Russia's Nadia Petrova in the Brisbane International first round yesterday.

01-05-2010, 04:38 AM
Early Year Success for Irish Tennis Players
Location: Chennai, India and Doha, Qatar
Date: Mon 04.Jan
from Tennis Ireland (

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.
Here is some YouTube footage of Louk in the Davis Cup, 2009 in Algeria:



01-05-2010, 09:55 AM
Thanks for posting those youtube vids. They were very interesting. Will be rooting for Louk today!

01-06-2010, 12:25 AM
Do you think Louk should have his own thread?

Lets not get ahead of ourselves.

Henry Chinaski
01-13-2010, 05:37 AM
Sorensen-Niland both won their first qualifying matches in straight sets over Ballaret(230) and Kontinen(293) respectively.

Both have tough 2nd round matches though. Niland will be big underdog against Jesse "The Plumber" Witten.

If Sorensen beats Bubka/Yani he'd probably face Kevin Kim in the final round.

Not looking good for either unfortunately

01-14-2010, 12:04 AM
I can't stand Jesse Witten, :o

Go Conor :bounce:

01-15-2010, 01:12 AM
Hell Yeah

Niland def Witten 2-6, 6-1, 6-4

I knew he could do it. :woohoo:

Henry Chinaski
01-15-2010, 03:04 AM
great result. 125 ranking places between them

sorensen in a tight one with yani. 3rd set. great chance to qualify with daniel king-turner waiting if he can grind this out.

I'm fading fast. not sure I can handle another half hour of sb checking. bp louk! breaks for a 3-1 lead. ok I'll stay up for this service game. it's not really a break until you consolidate....

01-15-2010, 09:45 AM
Sorensen-Niland both won their first qualifying matches in straight sets over Ballaret(230) and Kontinen(293) respectively.

Both have tough 2nd round matches though. Niland will be big underdog against Jesse "The Plumber" Witten.

If Sorensen beats Bubka/Yani he'd probably face Kevin Kim in the final round.

Not looking good for either unfortunately

Imo Sorensen's draw was almost perfect, it can't get much better than that. Balleret and Yani are nothing special. Even Kim would have been only an average opponent for a third round, but now against King-Turner Sorensen is even the fave.

01-16-2010, 02:22 AM
I want Conor to win so badly.

Henry Chinaski
01-16-2010, 02:46 AM
Imo Sorensen's draw was almost perfect, it can't get much better than that. Balleret and Yani are nothing special. Even Kim would have been only an average opponent for a third round, but now against King-Turner Sorensen is even the fave.

Yeah it worked out nicely for him. He deserved a lucky break after all his injury problems.

Niland in a tight second set here

01-16-2010, 03:02 AM
OMG I am seriously going to cry the way the 3rd set is going :sad: :sad:

01-16-2010, 08:22 PM
Well done Louk, first Irishman since Matt Doyle in 1985 to qualify for a Grand Slam! :eek: :worship:

01-19-2010, 12:05 AM
I don't want to get anyone too excited because this 1rst round slam match is best 3/5, but Louk Sorensen just won the first set over Lu 6-4. :D

Go Louk!!!!! :rocker2:

1 set down, 2 to go! :bowdown::bowdown::bowdown:

Is that the first GS set won by an Irish player in ages? :scratch:

Well, at least since 1985. "The 25-year-old Sorensen beat New Zealander Daniel King-Turner 6-4, 7-6(3), to become the first Irishman to gain entry into a Grand Slam singles draw since Matt Doyle played in the 1985 Australian Open.

Louk will be following in his father Sean's footsteps - the current Irish Davis Cup captain also played in a Grand Slam event when he went down to the great Rod Laver at the 1977 Wimbledon Championships."
And now I am really starting to feel optimistic. Louk is up a break 2-1 in the second set and is now serving 15-0. This is getting good.....
The live scores from the Australian Open web site are completely screwed up. They show the first set win for Louk as never happening and him leading 3-2 in the first set after already reporting he won it 6-4. I double-checked the score on and they show Louk as leading 6-4, 3-2, but they show it as being on serve in the second set. So I'm confused, but things do appear to be going well.

01-19-2010, 01:47 AM
According to BWIN, all other score updates are complete hogwash and VERY far behind, which makes common sense. Their score:

Louk is leading 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 5-0

YESSSSSSS!!!!!!! :bigclap::bigclap::bigclap:

I need to confirm this score, but it looks like Ireland is on the verge of it's first GS win in many decades.

Louk!!! :bowdown::bowdown::bowdown:
Yes!!! It was correct and Louk wins match 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.

What a day for Irish Tennis! :woohoo:

01-19-2010, 12:45 PM
Isner played 5 sets yesterday against Seppi, and is off a tournament win in Auckland where he played 3 sets practically every match. Sorensen could really have a shot here.

01-19-2010, 10:01 PM
Isner played 5 sets yesterday against Seppi, and is off a tournament win in Auckland where he played 3 sets practically every match. Sorensen could really have a shot here.

Same thoughts have entered my mind. ;) I'm not even sure it was worse that Isner won the match from a Louk Sorensen perspective. Sure, John is probably an overall tougher opponent, but given the circumstances in the past few weeks and too much match play, I think I'd rather have Louk play Isner than Seppi.

This brings up the obvious other question. Isner is a relatively big draw. Louk and he do battle on Court 8 today. Is there any chance for a normal live stream? Yesterday, I know some of the matches on Court 8 were shown yesterday at (Razzano, Wawrinka, Ferrer, etc.). Any chance we get a live stream finally to see Louk play?

01-19-2010, 10:08 PM
This deserves a full post and appreciation. This article (along with an actual recent photo!!! :p) by the UK Telegraph:

Australian Open 2010: Louk Sorensen's shock win eclipses Roger Federer on day two
By Mark Hodgkinson, in Melbourne
Published: 5:49PM GMT 19 Jan 2010
All-out effort: Louk Sorensen plays a backhand during his first-round win Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Louk Sorensen, an Irish qualifier, eclipsed Roger Federer by providing the biggest shock on the second day of the Australian Open.

It was a day when a local newspaper published pictures on its front page of a group of ticket holders doing Nazi salutes outside Melbourne Park, when Federer only just avoided going two sets to one down against Russia's Igor Andreev in the first round of the Australian Open, and when Nikolay Davydenko was moved to say "I'm not Paris Hilton".

All that was eclipsed by Sorensen, ranked 284 in the world, reaching the second round and being the first Irishman in the modern era to win a match in the main draw of the slams.

The last genuinely interesting story about Irish men's tennis is sepia tinted and involves Vere Thomas St Leger Goold, a finalist at the 1879 Wimbledon Championships, who was tried and convicted of murder in Monte Carlo in 1907 after he was caught with the sliced-up remains of a woman's body in his trunk.
Thankfully, Sorensen's tale doesn't involve murder or mutilation, just a decent run through qualifying and then his 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 first-round victory over Taipei's Yen-Hsun Lu.

Though Sorensen spent most of his childhood in Germany, is based in Stuttgart, and makes a significant part of his money playing in the third division of the German inter-club league, there is no doubt that he is Irish.

His father, Sean, is "100 per cent Irish", and, yes, Louk likes Guinness, though not in hot weather or the evening before he plays.

"I don't know what's going on right now," said Sorensen, who was due to next play the American, John Isner. "I've suddenly got so many friend requests on Facebook."

With Sorensen gathering self-confidence here, as well as money and ranking points, the Lawn Tennis Association should be monitoring the 25 year-old. Depending on their results in March, Britain and Ireland's Davis Cup teams could meet in Dublin in July, in the competition's third tier, Group Two of the Euro-African Zone.

Sorensen's father was the last Irishman to have featured in the main draw of a slam, losing in the first round of the 1980 Wimbledon Championships. A former Irish Davis Cup player, Sorensen Snr is now the team captain.

It is worth noting that not one of Britain's players came through the qualifying competition at Melbourne Park, so Britain and Ireland have the same number of representatives in the main draw of the men's tournament: one each.

Within minutes of Sorensen's win, the jokes were doing the rounds at Melbourne Park: "Did you hear the one about the two Scots, the Englishwoman and the Irishman?"

Few in the city were surprised that Andy Murray and Elena Baltacha won their opening matches, or that Katie O'Brien also progressed, but Sorensen's qualification, and then his main-draw win, was unexpected.
Murray was next scheduled to play an evening match on the Margaret Court Arena, with his second-round meeting with Marc Gicquel, a Frenchman who beat Italy's Simone Bolelli.

01-19-2010, 10:13 PM
Originally Posted by Sodal (
Do you think Louk should have his own thread?

Lets not get ahead of ourselves.

How about now? :p :lol:

Warning, Louk is now in Getty Images and Day Life. Pictures (from actual recent activity...yeah, I mean yesterday....) now coming..

01-19-2010, 10:20 PM
Photos from Louk's first round victory over Taipei's Yen-Hsun Lu at the Australian Open, 2010, provided by Getty Images:
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 19: Louk Sorensen of Ireland plays a forehand in his first round match against Yen-Hsun Lu ( of Chinese Taipei during day two of the 2010 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 19, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia.
Louk Sorensen of Ireland returns a shot against Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun during the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 19, 2010

01-19-2010, 10:37 PM
One more: (Note: Live coverage available on Eurosport Online ( )

Louk Sorensen in Second Round of Australian Open
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Date: Tue 19.Jan
Tennis Ireland ( lian_open) d_Main_Draw.JPG

Early this morning Louk Sorensen defeated Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei in the first round of the mens singles at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Sorensen had a 6-4 3-6 6-2 6-1 win over the over the twenty six year old who is currently ranked 101.

Sorensen (ranked 284) will now play American John Isner in the second round on court no. 8 on Wednesday, the third to play after an 11am start.

Louk came through the qualifying singles with a 7-6(6) 6-3 win over Benjamin Balleret of Monaco in the first round, a 6-4 3-6 6-3 win over Michael Yani in the second round and Daniel King-Turner (NZL) on a scoreline 6-4 7-6(3) in the final round of qualifying.

Sorensen’s last event before the Australian Open was at the Chennai Open in India where he achieved a place in the main draw after three great wins in the qualifiers.

The last time that Ireland had a player in a grand slam event was 1985, the year that Louk was born. Interviewed on BBC Sport earlier today, Sorensen said "I'm feeling great, it's the biggest achievement of my career so far."

Louk’s father, Sean who is the Davis Cup captain for Ireland competed in Wimbledon in 1980 and his older brother Kevin represented Ireland at international level in the Davis Cup.

View match statistics (

Also competing at the Australian Open was Conor Niland, he narrowly missed a place in the main draw in the final round of the qualifiers. He was defeated 6-1 4-6 3-6 by Brazilian Ricardo Hocevar and next week John Morrissey and Sam Barry will compete in the Australian Open Juniors main draw.

Post your comments of support to Louk and the other Irish players in Melbourne here (

Live scoring will be available below early tomorrow morning for Sorensen’s next challenge. Live coverage available on Eurosport Online (

01-19-2010, 11:33 PM
Matt Doyle won matches at Slams as an IRL player?? No??

Why does the article say first in Open Era.

01-20-2010, 12:50 AM
Matt Doyle won matches at Slams as an IRL player?? No??

Why does the article say first in Open Era.

This is from BBC Two:

He is the first man from the Republic of Ireland to reach the main draw of a Grand Slam since Matt Doyle lost in the first round in Melbourne in 1985.

Sorensen's second-round match is against American 33rd seed John Isner, who won last week's Auckland International, and will present a whole new challenge for the Irishman.

"I think it was an advantage to come through the qualifiers because I was used to the courts.
"The level between the qualies and the main draw, there is not such a big difference. You just need a bit of luck."
This is from the Times of London:

"Matt Doyle, of Irish descent, reached the fourth round of the US Open in 1982, where he was beaten by John McEnroe, also of Irish descent, but played under the Stars and Stripes and did not become a citizen of the Republic until 1985. Doyle used to be a regular guest at the Sorensen household: Louk recalls him vaguely and that he looked like a tall building. That may help him against Isner."
And I'm reprinting the whole article from the Guadian UK because it is pretty decent:

Ireland ( has a new hero. Louk Sorensen may speak with a German accent and is not a massive fan of Guinness, but none of that will matter after he made history for his country with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory over Lu Yen-hsun of Chinese Taipei, becoming the first Irishman to win a match at a grand-slam event in the Open era.

Until today, the 25-year-old could go unnoticed in Dublin but not after his first-round victory here. However, his professionalism meant there was no thought of celebrating with a glass of the black stuff. "I have another match to prepare for," he said. "I like it in the winter, but not in the summer, when it's hot."

In winning, Sorensen went one better than his father, Sean, who was the last Irishman even to play a grand slam match, at Wimbledon in 1980. "I'm feeling great," the world No 284 said. "It's the biggest achievement of my career so far, but let's just see how it goes in the next round," he said.

Ireland almost had two men in the main draw but the Birmingham-born Conor Niland fell at the last hurdle and was beaten in the last round of qualifying.

Before Sorensen, Irishmen could nurture the notion that one of their own had reached the last 16 of a grand slam, but when Matt Doyle achieved that feat at the US Open in 1982 he was playing under an American flag according to officials. However, although born in Redwood City, California, Doyle represented Ireland with aplomb in the Davis Cup in the 1980s. He became a national hero when he beat Eliot Teltscher in a Davis Cup World Group tie in 1983 who was playing for a United States team that included John McEnroe, then the Wimbledon champion.

Sorensen's father also played in that match and is now the captain of Ireland's Davis Cup team, something that may prove to be even more significant in July, when Ireland and Britain could find themselves playing each other, depending on the results of their first-round matches in March. "It's a long way away," he said. "First we have to beat Turkey. We'd be at home and if Andy Murray is going to play it is a huge thing for Irish tennis (, so we'd be happy if he plays."

The last time Doyle played at the Australian Open ( was in 1985, which just happens to be the same year that Sorensen was born. The 25-year-old does not keep in touch with Doyle these days but remembers him being around when he was young. "He used to live at our house when I was a kid," he said. "Mats Wilander was there as well. [Doyle] was coaching him when he was the world No 1 so when I was three or four years old I knew him."

Sorensen is not exactly a traditional Irish name, as Louk readily admitted in an accent with rather more of a German twang to it than an Irish lilt. "It is Norwegian," he said. "My father is 100% Irish and my mother is 50% German and 50% Austrian."

His parents live in Dublin and though he visits regularly, he grew up in Germany and still spends most of his time in Stuttgart, where he plays in the third division tennis Bundesliga, which earns him enough money to travel around the Challenger Tour. His adventures have taken him as far as Kazakhstan but financial constraints mean he spends most of his time playing tournaments in Europe.

The Irishman said he had already received a stack of invitations on Facebook and after promising to return a call from his father, who he said was "very proud right now", Sorensen was off to begin preparations for his next match against the American John Isner.

Regardless of the result against the 6ft 9in Isner, Sorensen is likely to climb into the world's top 200 at the end of the fortnight here and with a bit of luck, he believes he can go further. "My goal is just to stay healthy over the whole year and then check the rankings," he said.

"But I believe that by the end of the year I can go maybe 150 and then I'll see, maybe I can go higher. I've been injured so many times the last years and now the last couple of months were really good, I stayed healthy and felt great. So maybe it's just everything coming together now."

01-20-2010, 01:04 AM
Originally Posted by paddyirl (
Matt Doyle won matches at Slams as an IRL player?? No??

Why does the article say first in Open Era.

RTE's ( contribution interprets history a little differently than the three English newspapers (see below). Since they didn't even get Louk's last qualification opponent correct in Chennai, it will probably be necessary to do some individual research to get this question resolved. See EDIT below article for facts on 1985 AO and Matt Doyle.

Sorensen records historic win in Oz
Tuesday, 19 January 2010 17:28

Louk Sorensen became the first Irishman to win a grand slam match in 25 years when he defeated Yen-Hsun Lu in the first-round of the Australian Open.

Sorensen reached the main draw of a major for the first time in qualifying last week and continued his dream run in Melbourne by beating a player ranked almost 200 places higher 6-4 3-6 6-2 6-1.

Ireland had not produced a player that had won a match at a grand slam since the Californian-born Matt Doyle won through to the round of 32 at the 1985 Australian Open.

But Sorensen, ranked 287 in the world, defied the odds to bring that record to an end.

The 25-year-old's match had been postponed after Monday's rain with the players assigned to arguably the least glamorous court at the Melbourne Park complex - Court 14 where the shunting trams just metres away are more audible than the cheers from the other courts.

Regardless, the court will long live in the memory of Sorensen who, with only five players ranked below than him in the whole main draw, was expected to come unstuck against world number 101 Lu.

But the outsider, whose father Sean coaches the Davis Cup team, showed his gritty resolve early as he broke in the opening set which he took out, with his third set point, by firing a forehand down the line.
There was little between the players and when Lu levelled the match at one set apiece the contest had already lasted more than an hour and a half.

But from there Sorensen took control as he raced through the next two sets in an hour to claim his historic win.

Sorensen has spent most of his career on the Challenger tour while also playing for third division Bundesliga tennis club TC Doggenburg to earn enough money to continue to play.

'It's the biggest achievement of my career so far,' said Sorensen, who grew up in Germany but whose parents live in Dublin.

'I got through the first round now so I'm very happy.

'I don't know what it will be like in Ireland. I don't want to know until after the tournament.'
Sorensen will next play 6ft 9ins American John Isner on Wednesday and after revealing his coach had been unable to travel with him to Australia, said he was likely to prepare for the match by watching YouTube highlights.

'He (coach) had to go back to Germany, he has an important meeting so he couldn't come to Australia,' he added.

'But I will call my coach in Germany definitely.

'Isner is a big server. I have never played anyone that tall. He is huge.

'I am maybe going to watch a few points on YouTube.'
According to Wikipedia (, RTE is incorrect again. Matt Doyle did finally play under the Irish flag in 1985, but lost in his first round match. See Section 5:
Just to make things more confusing, The Irish Times reports (in a pretty spare article):

"The result saw Sorensen become the first Irishman to win a grand slam singles match since 1984 when Matt Doyle beat Sandy Mayer at Wimbledon."

But according to Wikipedia, Doyle was still playing under the U.S. flag at Wimbledon in 1984. See Section 5:

01-20-2010, 03:22 AM
The match vs Isner is now live and 3 different live streams can be found here:

I am watching this stream:

Isner won the first set 6-3. :sad:

Louk is really short comparatively speaking and is fighting his heart out, but it must be hard for him to adjust to playing someone so tall. He is doing pretty well, though.

Louk leads 1-0 in the second set and has a spirited Irish crowd behind him. Is anyone saving this?

01-20-2010, 03:37 AM
Louk is up 3-2 in the second set. Some screen captures of the neck-less one:

He just lost the second set in a tiebreaker 7-6 (4), so it looks like this may be the end. I've been impressed with his play. Whenever John hasn't been power serving him, he has looked like the better player. Unfortunately, the height and the power counts for quite a bit.

Odd note: Louk's serve is terrific despite his 5'9 height. I've been impressed with how easily he has held his serve and how many aces and unreturnable serves he has had. Also, Louk doesn't hit many unforced errors and opponent really has to earn the point. These match stats up through early in the third set are revealing:

Just about a 2:1 winner to unforced error ratio. :yeah: You can see how close the match has been too (75 pts to 71).
EDIT: Louk just lost 6-3, 7-6 (4), 7-5. He lost his serve after scraping his leg in the 5-5 game when he had two break points to serve for the set. It seemed to take him out of rhythm on his next service game, and it was the only bad service game I witnessed today. He had some brilliant winners and played a solid match today.

The 70 extra points should improve his ranking to a career high, somewhere around #205. With a few more results like this he could break into the top 200 and set his sights on the top 100. Isner was very complimentary of his efforts and it was nice to see him get some major television coverage and exposure. He handled the big stage pretty well.

One obvious complaint, Louk needs to play the big points a little better. He had a couple of bad misses at the net that could have turned the whole match around in his favor, but flubbed them. Total points won was extremely close, only 99-94 in Isner's favor. That margin is not usually indicative of a 3 straight set loss.

01-20-2010, 09:30 PM
Thanks Nolby, for the report and pics, would love to have seen the match. If it had only been on tonight i could have watched it as off work tomorrow. Paid for my davis cup tickets though so hope to see him in dublin in march, still it's not the same as watching a grand slam match. As we know its very rare for an irish player to be in one!

Henry Chinaski
01-20-2010, 10:14 PM
Strange all the confusion about the last irishman to play in a slam. fucked it up every which way and said that the last one was "Matt Sorensen".

If Doyle was an Irish DC player from 82 or 83 onwards then how could he have been playing slams as an American til 1985?

01-21-2010, 01:10 AM
The ATP website does list Doyle as USA, although he played IRL.

Also Wikipedia also said Emmanuelle Gagliardi played for Monaco once which I don't think she did.

01-21-2010, 12:10 PM
Getty Images published some fantastic photos of Louk from his match with Isner. The expressions they captured are priceless. :lol: They even have a photo of Sonia O'Sullivan cheering him on:
Louk Sorensen of Ireland eyes a return against John Isner of the US in their men's singles second round match on day three of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 20, 2010. Isner won 6-3, 7-6, 7-5. The first Grand Slam of the 2010 tennis season is taking place in the Australian city January 18-31. AFP PHOTO / PAUL CROCK
Louk Sorensen of Ireland lunges for a return against John Isner of the US in their men's singles second round match on day three of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 20, 2010. Isner won 6-3, 7-6, 7-5. The first Grand Slam of the 2010 tennis season is taking place in the Australian city January 18-31. AFP PHOTO / PAUL CROCK
Louk Sorensen of Ireland hits a return against John Isner of the US in their men's singles second round match on day three of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 20, 2010. Isner won 6-3, 7-6, 7-5.
Irish middle distance runner Sonia O'Sullivan smiles as she cheers on Louk Sorensen of Ireland as he plays John Isner of the US in their men's singles second round match on day three of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 20, 2010. Isner won 6-3, 7-6, 7-5.

01-21-2010, 12:40 PM
Thanks Nolby, for the report and pics, would love to have seen the match. If it had only been on tonight i could have watched it as off work tomorrow. Paid for my davis cup tickets though so hope to see him in dublin in march, still it's not the same as watching a grand slam match. As we know its very rare for an irish player to be in one!

You're welcome! You know, I wish I was one of those people that record every match right now, because that match was fully available to be saved and uploaded. Since it was against John Isner, I wouldn't be surprised if someone recorded it and it may be uploaded soon for downloading. I will request it at a couple of sites of match recording enthusiasts and see if I get any luck and I'll post back here with the links if I do. I was able to get Nalby exhibition matches last month that were much harder to find a stream for, so it wouldn't surprise me if we were able to get this match.

If anyone else knows of a copy of it being available, please let us know. I would like a copy of it too. It is historic and I am very proud of Louk's performance.


Items of Interest:

-RTE Audio Interviews (

-I found this great picture of John and Louk shaking hands at the end of the match while looking for a video:

01-21-2010, 09:01 PM
If you could come come across something it would be great as i'd love to see it. Hopefully he can keep his form going when he goes back to challengers and on and upwards toward ATP events again

01-23-2010, 07:36 PM
Hey guys :)

Nolby and I asked nicely on the T4U video forum and Sdede obliged with a streamrip of Louk's match against Isner, will probably be the Eurosport no commentary stream from the Eurosport Player...

01-24-2010, 04:11 AM
Hey guys :)

Nolby and I asked nicely on the T4U video forum and Sdede obliged with a streamrip of Louk's match against Isner, will probably be the Eurosport no commentary stream from the Eurosport Player...

Les, you and Sdede are legendary!!! :bowdown::bowdown::bowdown:

Thank you so much!!! This is fantastic.

Frederico, you can now watch Louk's match vs. Isner and see how well he played.

Congrats on the great match by Muzza today. :yeah: I tried writing a thoughtful analysis on the match in GM earlier today, but it looks like it got lost in the middle of the Brithater/Clydey debates. :lol: Page 5, I think is where it is at. :p

01-24-2010, 06:32 AM
:lol: Yeah Brithater (don't be fooled by the name) is half Scottish and actually quite likes Andy :silly:

Sdede says he'll look for his R1 match too, but he's really busy so it might take a while! :)

01-24-2010, 10:52 AM
louk was the most animated player i ever seen live. he was jumping around after every point he won against lu.

01-24-2010, 06:32 PM
:lol: Yeah Brithater (don't be fooled by the name) is half Scottish and actually quite likes Andy :silly:
:confused::confused::confused: I read about 20+ posts that would seem to suggest otherwise...and to the eXtreme!! :lol: I'll try and re-read the thread with that thought in mind. :p

Sdede says he'll look for his R1 match too, but he's really busy so it might take a while! :)

Thank you so much! To have the match where he WON would be great too! :D I didn't even really think that one was retrievable because I never saw a stream for it....and I looked very hard for one too. I am guessing almost noone even saw that match the first time. Wow! :yeah:

BTW, I downloaded JDownloader and it is active right now. Thanks again!

Say thanks to Sdede and I will do so as well.


louk was the most animated player i ever seen live. he was jumping around after every point he won against lu.

Thanks for the pics, Thanos! He seemed really composed and dead serious for the most part against Isner...except when he had a couple of spectacular shots at key moments. Perhaps that was because he was in a battle and knew he was on the big stage? I guess he was behind the whole time too. I hope we get to see the Lu match to see Louk being animated and winning.

Henry Chinaski
01-25-2010, 12:41 AM
Boys Singles first round scores:

Dominik Schulz (Ger) (8) d. John Morrissey (Irl) 6-1 6-1

Sam Barry (Irl) d Victor Baluda (Rus) 6-7 6-4 6-3

Another win at a very notable slam for Irish tennis....

01-25-2010, 09:30 PM
Thanks vey much for the stream, downloaded and watched yest, was very impressed by both players, Louk seems to be much better player than his rank

01-25-2010, 09:53 PM
Thanks vey much for the stream, downloaded and watched yest, was very impressed by both players, Louk seems to be much better player than his rank

If not for a handful of points here and there in the second and third sets....but I think that ability to be more clutch on big points comes with getting used to playing more big time matches. Obviously, that match had to be highly stressful and easily the biggest of his career. He showed a ton of fight and great shotmaking ability and court coverage.

Tip to those downloading the match. Rapidshare (RS) has only been dependable for me after 9 pm GMT the past couple of days. I am currently successfully downloading Part 4, but have failed on numerous occassions due to the server being too busy earlier today. This was the case yesterday too.

Someone recommended a free open source program (all platforms) that will keep checking for open download slots on Share servers. On RS, it asks one to wait for another download attempt every two minutes if downloading a file with a free account. This program has been wonderful and relieved me of the burden of worrying about when RapidShare servers would have open slots again or having to make repeated individual download attempts.

You can also line up all the links for the separate files for the match all at once, and forget about going back to the site until all files have been downloaded. It does the irritating work for you and RS has been as overloaded lately as I've ever seen it:

Henry Chinaski
01-27-2010, 10:48 PM
Heilbronn Ch R1:

Bohli d Sorensen 6-3 6-2.

Back to earth with a bang for Louk. Probably a wasted wildcard for the organisers. He must have been exhausted.

01-28-2010, 03:18 AM
Heilbronn Ch R1:

Bohli d Sorensen 6-3 6-2.

Back to earth with a bang for Louk. Probably a wasted wildcard for the organisers. He must have been exhausted.

No kiddng!! :eek:

That is bad news. What do Fed fans say? Louk only shows up for the slams. :lol:

Henry Chinaski
02-01-2010, 09:15 PM
Conor and Louk are in Kazan in Russia this week for a challenger.

Also, a limited number of Davis Cup tickets went on sale yesterday.

Only €35 for a 3 day ticket. Unfortunately I'm flat broke at the moment.

Henry Chinaski
02-06-2010, 12:18 AM
Sorensen really does only show up for the slams. Gubbed by Donskoy in R1.

Conor is kicking ass though:

Niland into semis in Russia
Friday, 5 February 2010 22:00

Ireland's Conor Niland followed up his two wins in the Australian Open qualifying with his third victory in the ATP Challenger Tour event in Kazan, Russia.

Unseeded Niland nailed down a place in the singles semi-finals when the No 7 seed, Russia's Konstantin Kravchuk, retired injured trailing Niland 2-6 and 0-1.

The Limerick man faces an even more daunting task when he comes up Germany's Julian Reister, the top seed, who has dropped a total of 11 games in his three contests so far in the tournament.

However, 277-ranked Niland will take some encouragement from the fact that the 23-year-old from Hamburg, who is ranked at 172, failed to get past the first round of qualifying in the Australian Open.

Meanwhile, Niland's Davis Cup teammates Barry King and Colin O'Brien clinched a doubles semi-final place in the ITF Futures event in Nussloch, Germany.

The No 3 seeded Dublin duo scored a 6-4 1-6 10-6 (champions' tie-break) victory over Luxembourg pair Gilles Muller and Mike Scheidweiler, who both played in the April 2000 Davis Cup loss to Ireland, at Mondorf-les-Bains.

King and O'Brien face Czech pairing Roman Jebavy and Daniel Lustig, the latter having eliminated King in the second round of the singles in the same tournament.

Henry Chinaski
03-06-2010, 03:23 AM
anyone at the Davis Cup ties?

I wanted to go but i'm so broke right now.

I guess Louk is injured(AGAIN) because McGee stepped in and got the job done.

What an awesome result from Niland against a player ranked over 100 places higher.

I expected him to win but to do it for the loss of just 6 games is incredible.

Wish I could've gone. Tie should be in bag now.

04-03-2010, 12:08 PM
Hi i was wondering can anyone help me? i tried to download Louk's match against Isner but it didnt successfully download for me. If anyone has all the video parts could u send it to my e-mail plz?

04-06-2010, 10:05 AM
Conor Niland qualified for the US Men's Claycourt Championships in Houston yesterday. He now faces Mardy Fish in the 1st Round tonight, Good Luck Conor!

Henry Chinaski
04-06-2010, 12:07 PM
I'll continue my campaign to get Conor some followers on twitter in here:

Barry King and James McGee are on it as well.

Sorensen is registered but has never posted anything

05-08-2010, 12:00 AM
Resurrecting this thread to wish Niland congratulations on his awesome week (and still going) at Israel :worship:

Henry Chinaski
05-08-2010, 01:10 AM
yeah he's on a great run. he seems to have deleted his twitter account for some reason by the way

Henry Chinaski
05-10-2010, 11:16 PM
Conor jumped 57 places to reach 165 in the rankings. Late last year he'd fallen outside the world's top 400.

Challender R16 and QF points to defend in the next couple of weeks but nothing major after that. Wonder how high he can go.

Garry Cahill says his fitness has been the most improved area of his game.

05-15-2010, 01:19 PM
Looking forward to the french qualies next week, although will have to follow it on livescore. At least Louk did ok in that first challenger back this week. Guess Conor will be our main hope in the qualies but Louk must be very familiar with clay living in Germany. Should be interesting anyway!

Henry Chinaski
05-18-2010, 01:39 AM
Horrible draw for Louk. Acasuso should be serveral classes above him.

Conor has a chance v Boggo...

05-18-2010, 02:43 AM
I hope Conor can build on his great week in Ramat Hasharon.

05-18-2010, 05:50 AM
Good luck Conor

Henry Chinaski
05-18-2010, 02:29 PM
Conor routined him 6/4 6/4. Looks like he'll play Julian Reister next.

Louk on serve v Chucho

07-18-2010, 11:06 PM
Well Davis Cup wasn't so good. :shrug:

I actually don't know what else to post I just want to get this thread active again :o

Henry Chinaski
07-19-2010, 02:31 AM
Disastrous weather conditions for Irish Open once again too

Doom and gloom

07-19-2010, 02:37 AM
Hopefully Niland puts together a good win in Penza.

Henry Chinaski
07-31-2010, 01:29 AM
two weeks in a row Niland has lost to junior slam winners. Ignatic last week, now Kuznetsov.

Really should have done better after traveling so far to find MM fields.

I think he's going to slump soon from burnout so he needs all the points he can get. He's played a hell of a lot of tennis and covered a hell of a lot of air miles

07-31-2010, 05:13 AM
Loving seeing Louk Sorensen back playing again. So happy to see it.

08-16-2010, 01:26 AM
Youth Olympics
Morrisey def Acosta 7-5, 6-1

Faces 4th seed Beretta of Peru in the round of 16.

GL John :)

08-17-2010, 04:26 PM
He's in the Quarters against Bhambri.

Henry Chinaski
08-17-2010, 04:26 PM
Good stuff Louk

08-21-2010, 05:33 PM
Here's a photo of me with Morrissey at the Youth Olympic Games (after his QF loss to Bhambri).

Henry Chinaski
10-22-2010, 08:13 PM
Louk Sorensen is out of the Australian Open with a pelvic problem and won't be able to defend his second round points.

Absolutely catastrophic for his ranking. Thanks to persistent injuries he has virtually no points from anywhere else.

10-29-2010, 08:40 PM
Conors in Valencia Qualifying Draw
He Plays Michael Russell in R1

Henry Chinaski
12-20-2010, 07:12 AM
Good interview with Conor Niland in the Sunday Independent yesterday

The sport's eternal beauty beguiles him. He loves it that there is no clock. Time offers no comforting hand of reassurance. You can't run the ball into the corner and wait for the whistle. You have to finish it and, until you do, you remain vulnerable. The guy you're beating is loosening up now. He has nothing to lose. You feel yourself beginning to tighten, though. The finish line is in sight, but you have to win it. There is no other way.

Last month Conor Niland found himself in a familiar position. Leading Matthias Bachinger in the second round of the Salzburg Open, a set up and 3-1 ahead in the second. Cruising. And then it came -- the muscle-tightening scent of the finish line. His concentration slipped and, sensing his vulnerability, the German pounced. Before Niland knew it, he was 5-4 down in the decider, 15-40 behind on his serve, facing the point of no return.

So he steeled himself and nerved it out. Held his serve, broke his opponent in the next and fell over the line in a heap. Three matches later, he had sealed the tournament, his second victory on the Challenger circuit this year, and banked enough ranking points to ease himself into the world's top 150. The difference between losing to Bachinger and winning the tournament was 72 ranking points which roughly translates to 25 places on the table. That's how tight the margins are.

Salzburg wasn't his best week, though. That came in Ramat Hasharon in Israel back in May. He slogged his way through five rounds in searing heat, numbering Rainer Schuettler, a Wimbledon semi-finalist in 2008, among his victims on his way to a win that signalled the landmark achievement of breaking the world's top 200. He winces thinking about it now: five days, five matches, four of which went the distance. A cheque for $14,400. The manna of 100 ranking points. Each one savagely toughed out and paid for.

"That week was hard work," he says. "It felt literally like I'd spent the whole week on court. The courts were slow and every day was a battle. I'd say it's the best I've ever played. Everyone I beat was either in the top 100 or had been there at some stage. But I'd been playing good tennis all year. Doha and Australia hadn't worked out, but I'd qualified for Houston and that gave me a lot of confidence. It set me up for a year. Gave me the chance to push on for the top 150."

Houston. If there was one moment that stands out, it came on the unfamiliar clay surface where, for the first time, he cleared a path through the thicket of the qualifiers into the first round proper of an ATP main tour event. His first day in the big time brought no further glory, but that didn't matter. In his third-round qualifier he'd managed to save a match point and he can think of four occasions during the year when he rescued himself from the point of oblivion. He can think of no nicer feeling. "It shows you're not capitulating," he says. "Not giving up."

Outside the bubble of the world's top 10 or 20, it is what life on the ATP tour is about. Not giving up, no matter how coarse the struggle becomes. In tennis, there are many things that can drag a player under. The unremitting grind of tour life and the bracing loneliness that can be as great a barrier as the opponent standing on the other side of the net. Even the slightest mental frailty can be a grim portent of doom.

Niland copes better than most. When the end-of-year rankings were published two weeks ago, he discovered he had risen a place to 129. It is nearly three decades since Matt Doyle, a born and bred Californian who declared for Ireland, reached a career high of 85. No other Irish tennis player has broken inside the top 200. He imagines he'll have to cross the threshold of the top 100 or make a splash at Wimbledon for the nation to sit up and take notice. No big deal, though.

"People just don't understand the depth of talent out there. They see a guy ranked 100 and think 'oh he can't be very good. He must be a part-timer'. But there are guys in the 700s and they're seriously good players. I'm not just saying that. It sounds a big number but there are hundreds of good tennis players. It's a bottleneck. Everybody's trying to beat each other. Everybody's looking for the same thing."

Before Niland, Ireland had a decent generation of tennis players: Owen Casey, Scott Barron, Eoin Collins among them. The will to support them didn't exist, though. When Niland made his Davis Cup debut against Croatia in 2000, the presence of the charismatic Goran Ivanisevic in Dublin ensured something of a media stir. But days like those have been thin on the ground. Big-time tennis has been as alien as coral reef to these shores.

In September, he turned 29. A month younger than Roger Federer, his breakthrough has come relatively late in a sport where players regularly emerge as acne-riddled prodigies. He has been full-time for just five years and isn't of a mind to wonder where he'd be had he set out sooner. After school he was offered a scholarship to Berkeley University and that was the safe punt. In California, he came under the wing of Wayne Ferreira, a former top 10 player. Ferreira assured him he could make the top 100 if he wanted it. That germinated the seed.

Years before that himself and Stephen Nugent had been given the chance to spend two weeks at the famous Bollettieri academy in Florida. Two wide-eyed teenagers gawping at world-class stars like the Williams' sisters and Petr Korda. By and large, though, thoughts of a daily regime of sleep and bashing tennis balls didn't take root. Who's to say the maturity of college wasn't precisely what he needed? And would he not have tired of the grind and quit by 22?

His sister Gina had tested the road before him. In the family Gina had been the trailblazer. When they'd lived in Birmingham, the local tennis club became their sanctuary. By the time she was 12, Gina was already recognised as one of the best of her age-group in Britain. When they moved to Limerick, they had a court installed in the back. Conor was three at the time and, already, the game was his life.

"Gina definitely had the talent," he says. "But she was probably finished at the top level by the time she was 19 or 20. She did her Leaving at 17 and deferred a place in UCD for two years to see how it went. She was going to places like Algeria and Morocco by herself and you can't imagine how tough that was. Not just to go there but to have to win matches as well. I'm sure that turned her off the life.

"We didn't know it then, but you need someone with you when you're on tour. Even just to be in your corner. It's tough to go away on your own and expect to play your best. You're in a cocoon. There's no social outlet. If you're 18 or 19 that's not easy. If it was only about ball-striking and she had a good training base and a full-time coach, she'd have been up there. She was good enough."

You learn and you adapt. You cope. There's rarely a week when Niland travels alone now. On the biggest weeks, when the stakes are highest, he tries his best to have the assistance of a coach or mentor. Sometimes his father, as in Salzburg, will ride along to provide companionship and support. He knows it is no accident that those are the same weeks when he has played best.

The big nations hold all the aces. That is a fact of tour life. They forge natural bonds between themselves and are in prime position when it comes to the distribution of wild cards for Slams or big tournaments in their own countries. Then they see the Irish guy beating a path towards the top 100 and afford him the respect he deserves and raise their game. On every level Niland meets rising ground.

He tells an illuminating story of the follow-up to his victory in Salzburg. That night he drove for two hours and spent the night in Munich. From there he flew to Copenhagen and then to Tokyo where he boarded a train for the five-hour rail trip to the city of Toyota. He won his first-round match before the jet lag had time to take hold. For the second round he was goosed. And that's the Challenger circuit, he sighs. It makes no allowance for logistics.

He's coping. Five years on tour now and each year has brought little tweaks and improvements that have heralded steady progress all the way. He's reduced his playing demands from 35 to 30 weeks and likes the extra time to chill out at home in Dublin and train under Gary Cahill at the national centre in DCU. It is a happy set-up. There are nine Irish players on the ATP ranking list. Loads of guys to hit with, a growing sense of purpose about them.

"At the start I was away on my own a lot, training alone so the difference is huge. Having a coach to work with, not having to scrape around for training partners. At DCU, I have everything I need. I'd been calling for it for a long time. A lot of guys wanted to play but we were doing it ourselves. They had a structure in place for the juniors, but nothing for seniors. Thankfully, they realised it was a good idea."

It was through Cahill's contacts that the chance arose to spend four days practising with Andy Murray in London last month. The sheer magnitude of Murray's entourage took his breath away, but on court he didn't feel as if he belonged in another galaxy. For the first two days they practised drills and worked in the gym. On the third they played a match which Murray won 6-2 7-5. Two weeks later, Niland soared to victory in Salzburg.

"If you think about it, I'm the No 2 ranked player in Britain and Ireland. I'd be No 2 in Sweden and Australia and probably top 10 in America. So I knew before going there that I'd be able to live with him. Playing with him, you feel comfortable during rallies. The difference with guys in the top 10 is that when it comes to the crunch, they go up a level. I know I can beat guys 60 or 70 in the world. I'm not going to be top 10. But it was good for my confidence. I took from it that I am on the right track."

So he's thinking maybe four more good years now. Pushing himself as close to the summit as he can. He sees how much his game has improved in the last 12 months and the benefits of working with sports psychologist Kevin Clancy, a colleague of Enda McNulty. At their first meeting, Niland outlined his goals for 2010. "Have you written them down?" Clancy wondered. Niland hadn't. "Then they aren't goals," Clancy replied.

Soon he will be writing down his goals for 2011. "To finish in the top 75," he says. "Break into the top 100 and consolidate. I've already worked out what I need to do in the first three months of the year to achieve that. We break the season down into three-month periods and work out how many points I need to get. It makes it a lot clearer. Makes it seem a lot more achievable."

He's as driven as they come. It was generally assumed when he left college that he would try tour life for a year before returning and he was grimly determined to prove the doubters wrong. Even when he played the Futures circuit, pro tennis' third tier, it never occurred to him to quit. "At times it was tough. You're playing in a dump for no points and no money but I knew if I walked away I'd be back with my tail between my legs after two months saying 'ah pro tennis isn't all that bad really'."

The challenge invigorates him. Tennis won't make him wealthy or famous and he's glad of the funding he gets from the Irish Sports Council. He receives the international category grant of €12,000 and laughs that to earn world-class level he'd have to reach No 8 in the world. And to scale the top tier, alongside the likes of Kenny Egan and Derval O'Rourke, he'd have to break the top three.

No matter. When he broke the top 150, he signed his first ever sponsorship deal with a Chinese clothing firm and is happy with what he has. In January, he'll kick off in India and Australia and hopes to mark the season by qualifying for his first ever Grand Slam proper. He saw the splash Louk Sorensen created when he made the second round in Australia last January. Indisputably good for Sorensen. And good too for Irish tennis.

He craves days like those. He thinks of June, a Davis Cup tie against Luxembourg. Win that and they earn a mouthwatering clash against Murray and Great Britain. The kind of encounter that might get a dozy public to sit up and take notice. If not, no worries. He's here for the hard road regardless. With or without your attention.

Sunday Independent

12-24-2010, 04:25 PM
Louk Sorensen is out of the Australian Open with a pelvic problem and won't be able to defend his second round points.

Absolutely catastrophic for his ranking. Thanks to persistent injuries he has virtually no points from anywhere else.

Any idea as to when he'll be back? If he only he could get a season or two of good health to be able to reach his potential.

Henry Chinaski
12-24-2010, 10:45 PM
I'm not sure. Apparently the only treatment for his pelvic problem is rest so there's no fixed date. Should be pretty early in the year though.

01-01-2011, 06:25 AM
Conor from 6-3 5-3* and match point to 6-3 5-7 4-6 against Indian futures player Vishnu Vardan

Henry Chinaski
01-01-2011, 03:38 PM
Horrible, horrible result.

Henry Chinaski
01-10-2011, 01:58 PM
Interview with Conor Niland on Irish radio

Hewitt =Legend
01-12-2011, 08:24 AM
Louk Sorensen is out of the Australian Open with a pelvic problem and won't be able to defend his second round points.

Absolutely catastrophic for his ranking. Thanks to persistent injuries he has virtually no points from anywhere else.

Damn that sucks, this guy has the worst luck with injuries. Hope he can rest up and get back on tour, but back injuries don't just go away easily...

Henry Chinaski
01-12-2011, 11:53 AM
Yeah he's been fucked by injuries his whole career.

Wrote a piece on him on my blog here:

Shitty tournament for Ireland after the highs of last year. Niland lost to Kevin Kim in two tiebreaks in the first round of qualies so no more Irish representation.

The two guys from last year's boys singles, Sam Barry and John Morrissey, are too old for the juniors this year as well afaik

01-20-2011, 01:39 PM
Aparrently Louks got a wild card into the Heilbronn challenger next week. I find this very surprising that he would come back now where as he would have waited till the end of Febreuary he would have got a Protected ranking!

Henry Chinaski
01-20-2011, 06:49 PM
Maybe there is an element of discretion to the Protected Rank rule? According to the wording he needs to wait til end of Feb yes.

Strange situation.

01-20-2011, 08:38 PM
Just checked the Heillbronn challenger thread and somone said its not true which is good for louk if he waits till end of feb

01-24-2011, 12:17 AM
Conor has drawn Chiudinelli in the first round of the 85k Heilbronn Challenger. Hopefully we see an improved showing compared to what he has done so far this year.

Henry Chinaski
01-24-2011, 01:13 AM
hope so.

tough draw though

01-25-2011, 01:03 AM
I see that Irish top-30 junior John Morrissey chose to play collegiate tennis at Stanford.
Tennis aside, great decision for his future.

Henry Chinaski
01-25-2011, 04:16 AM
Thanks for that man. I heard months ago he was likely to go down the US collegiate route but had been unable to find out anything since

01-25-2011, 11:12 PM
Good win for Conor today in the 1st round of the Heilbronn Challenger. He beat Marco Chiudinelli 7-5 6-2. I watched the match online and Conor played very well and was mentally strong compared to Chiudinelli who was throwing his racket all over the place. Well done Conor and good luck in the next round against Klizan

01-25-2011, 11:40 PM
:clap2: Conor. Good to hear he played well.

01-27-2011, 04:41 PM
Conor beat Martin Klizan 6-4 2-6 7-6(3) today in the 2nd round of the Heilbronn Challenger. It was a vey tight match but Conor grinded it out and he will play Bozoljac in the quarter final tomorrow. Good Luck Conor!

Henry Chinaski
01-27-2011, 06:40 PM
Found out my old secondary school English teacher is realted to Conor. Just asked him on twitter if it's true

Good grind today

Henry Chinaski
02-01-2011, 07:32 PM
Conor confirmed it is true.

Round up of the Irish players in week 4 here:

Disaster for Niland in Kazan today retiring in 1st set. Defending semi-final points. Top seed too...

02-02-2011, 06:02 AM
That's not good. The Russians have listed the reason for his retirement as flew so I'm guessing they mean flu unless Conor flew out of the court.

Henry Chinaski
02-03-2011, 11:54 PM
yup flu it was. unlucky one.

Latest on Louk:

IRELAND have suffered a major blow for next month's Davis Cup showdown against Luxembourg with the news that team boss Garry Cahill is almost certain to be unable to call on Louk Sorensen.

Because of a combination of hamstring and pubic muscle problems, Sorensen has not hit a ball in competitive action since August.

It had been hoped that the Stuttgart-based player would make a return to tournament play in next week's ITF Futures event in Bergamo, Italy.

But the former Irish No 1 has had to put those plans on hold to fully recover from his injury problems.

And now, according to a source, Sorensen is unlikely to resume the chase for world ranking points for at least another four weeks.

With the Europe-Africa Zone Group Two home tie against Luxembourg scheduled for March 4-6, it means that Sorensen is almost certainly out of the equation for the four-man squad.

"Louk is going to Spain next week for 10 days of more intensive fitness and match training," said the source.

"As things stand, there is no way that he'd be up to the physical demands of possibly two five-set matches (in three days) in a Davis Cup tie."

The unavailability of Sorensen leaves Cahill having to choose James Cluskey or Colin O'Brien to link up with Conor Niland, James McGee and Barry King.

Henry Chinaski
02-04-2011, 11:46 AM
As expected, no Sorensen for DC...

TENNIS NEWS ROUND-UP: A WEAKENED Davis Cup team will face Luxembourg in Dublin next month in the first round of the 2011 competition, which is moving this season from its traditional base at Fitzwilliam to the David Lloyd Centre at Riverview. Davis Cup has been played in the venerable Fitzwilliam for the past eight years.

Tennis Ireland in conjunction with Riverview are installing four new courts of slow paced acrylic for the competition, the same surface that is in the National Training Centre and one the Irish players are used to playing on.

The match has also been moved because of the possibility that Ireland will meet Britain in the second round. An interesting aspect of the draw is that Britain is also in Ireland’s Europe-Africa zone Group Two.

They meet Tunisia in their opening match on the same side of the draw.

If both Britain and Ireland lose their opening games, they move back towards relegation and play each other in the second round or if they both win they move forwards towards promotion and face each other in a match that is scheduled as a home fixture for Ireland.

In that light Fitzwilliam holds between 1,000-1,200 spectators while Riverview can cater for around 2,000 and the possibility of Britain arriving with the world number five Andy Murray in the team would generate significantly higher interest. Murray, however, did not schedule in Davis Cup last year but has not entirely ruled it in or out.

Once again Louk Sorensen, who became the first Irish player since the 1980s to qualify for the main draw of a Grand Slam at the Australian Open last year, is not in the team due to injury, which was reportedly a similar ailment to that which Irish second row Paul O’Connell suffered from, an infection of the pubis bone.

Sorensen is now back hitting but is not yet at the level to compete. He has been struggling with the injury almost consistently since after his Australian run to the second round in 2010.

Barry King, who featured last year against Turkey and Lithuania, fails to make the team with Irish number one, Conor Niland joined by James Magee, James Cluskey and Colin O’Brien. Niland is an occasional hitting partner with Murray and at 131 in the world he is the highest ranked player in these islands after the Scot. The match takes place from March 4th-6th.

Hewitt =Legend
02-06-2011, 08:14 AM
Good to see Louk is back training and hitting again, hopefully he can overcome these injury problems and get going on the tour again.

Henry Chinaski
02-08-2011, 04:11 AM
Shankwatch Ireland - Week 5 featuring a very distasteful opening sequence that might well get me shot

02-10-2011, 01:21 AM
Nice blog

Niland lost in the first round of Quimper as the second seed with a 64 63 loss to Rieschick.

02-26-2011, 09:45 AM
Louk Sorensen back in action today after a long lay off. He is in qualies in Salinas, Ecuador. GL Louk!

02-26-2011, 07:45 PM
Louk won! He beat Guillermo Duran 6-4 3-6 6-1. Great win in his first match back from injury. He plays Sebastian Lopez tomorrow in the 2nd rd of qualies

Hewitt =Legend
03-01-2011, 09:36 AM
Louk got through the rest of the qualies very convincingly dropping only 7 games in 2 matches and now plays Dutra Da Silva in the 1st round. Great to see him winning matches again and just hope the back holds up and he can play the season without much pain.

Henry Chinaski
03-03-2011, 09:45 PM
Good to see Louk get some wins under his belt.

DC match tomorrow. Gonna be a tight one depending on which Gilles Muller turns up.

Preview featuring some awesome Mandy Minella pics:

Ireland v Luxembourg preview ft gratuitous pictures of mandy minella

Hewitt =Legend
03-03-2011, 10:00 PM
She is a stunner alright, hope she climbs the rankings so we can see more of her..

Nice blog by the way.. hopefully Niland can get them over the line..

Henry Chinaski
03-03-2011, 10:16 PM
Thanks man.

Doubles is gonna be huge. You never know with Muller but he'd capable of winning the tie on his own

Henry Chinaski
03-05-2011, 01:43 AM
Ireland v Luxembourg Day 1.

I'll update tomorrow with pics. Just waiting for permission from the photographer but it should be ok.

Hewitt =Legend
03-05-2011, 03:53 AM
Haha about the atmosphere with the Irish schoolboys singing... what a cauldron..

Yeah, doubles will be massive tomorrow, if they can pull it off, Niland will go in with huge confidence against Muller but will have to serve better as he won't get many chances to break Gilles.

03-05-2011, 07:11 PM
I think Luxembourg won the doubles, so Niland must beat Muller in the fourth rubber tomorrow.

Henry Chinaski
03-05-2011, 09:49 PM
Luxembourg won 7/6 7/6 6/4

Irish guys played 2 sloppy breakers. Couldn't buy a first serve in either.

Bram, who is unranked, was very impressive for Lux. Was rock solid throughout. I'll type up a report shortly

Henry Chinaski
03-06-2011, 12:50 AM
doubles report

Henry Chinaski
03-22-2011, 01:30 AM
week 11 round-up:

03-23-2011, 08:16 AM
Conor lost to Dan Evans 64 64 at the Bath Challenger.

Henry Chinaski
03-23-2011, 02:22 PM
awful result

03-30-2011, 02:26 AM
Another first round loss this time on the clay for Conor with him going down 64 63 to Lojda. He is on the alt lists for Houston and Casablanca next week and then entered for the Athens Challenger the week after that.

04-03-2011, 01:18 AM
:clap2: Conor won his first round of Casablanca Qualies with a 64 36 63 victory over Ivan Navarro. Next up is Smethurst and then if he were to get through that he would take on the winner of Andrey Kuznetsov vs Millot.

04-13-2011, 12:56 AM
Through to the second round of the 85k Athens Hardcourt Challenger after defeating a qualifier, Treat Conrad Huey, 62 64. He will play Guillermo Alcaide in the second round.

04-27-2011, 01:07 AM
Lost in the first round of the Sarasota Challenger to Frank Dancevic 46 64 16. Next tournament likely to be the Savannah Challenger in America next week.

Henry Chinaski
05-02-2011, 03:16 PM
conor can't buy a win atm

06-05-2011, 11:12 PM
Unfortunately Conor lost 6-4 6-7(4) 6-7(6) to Matt Ebden in the final round of Queens qualifying.

Henry Chinaski
06-06-2011, 12:20 AM
horrible loss. Queens is probably the best known event here outside the slams. People know it well because the BBC covers it.

would have been huge for him to qualify. hopefully get the 2 withdrawals he needs but it's pretty unlikely

06-06-2011, 12:47 AM
Ok so I see he was up a set and a double break. Now that's just terrible :lol: :facepalm:

Henry Chinaski
06-06-2011, 01:05 AM
DOUBLE break!? fucking hell. where'd you read that?

06-06-2011, 01:09 AM

Henry Chinaski
06-06-2011, 02:02 AM

that's horrible. no wonder he hasn't tweeted about it.

06-13-2011, 05:17 PM
Conor advanced to Wimby qf 2nd round. btw, who is the greatest Irish player of all time?

Hewitt =Legend
06-16-2011, 06:00 AM
Well Sorensen has come out of his short lived retirement and is currently playing in a futures event in Koeln, Germany. He is seeded 7th and won his 1st round match 6-3 6-3 against Swedish qualifier Markus Eriksson. Next up is another qualifier, Urzua-Rivera from Chile. Hope the back is feeling good and can play out the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, Niland is one win away from his first appearance in a main draw of a grand slam, he faces Mektic in the final round of qualifying later on today.

Hewitt =Legend
06-18-2011, 04:38 AM
Sorensen won his second round match in straight sets but then gave his opponent a walkover in the quarter finals. Anyone know what happened? Hope it's not to serious...

06-18-2011, 10:31 AM
Conor takes the 1st set against Mektic :woohoo:

06-18-2011, 02:32 PM
Conors just 1 set away from qualifying for Wimbledon :worship:

06-18-2011, 03:35 PM
Conor qualifies for Wimbledon :worship:

06-18-2011, 08:08 PM

Wimby MD, so excited for Wimby now;.

06-19-2011, 11:54 AM
Mannarino in the 1st round :) Its winnable :)
Federer in the 2nd if he wins :eek:

Henry Chinaski
06-28-2011, 01:38 AM
forgot to plug this here

week 25 in Irish tennis

Henry Chinaski
07-15-2011, 07:05 PM
i interviewed barry king after he clinched the winning point for ireland v tunisia

Henry Chinaski
07-22-2011, 11:57 PM
my piece from Ireland F1 Futures

Tom Cosgrove
07-23-2011, 10:34 PM
Conor Niland, Barry King, Sorensen... Legends :D

08-26-2011, 08:51 PM
Louk and Conor qualified for US Open :worship:

Great day for Irish tennis :yeah:

09-07-2011, 04:56 AM
I'm not sure if I wanna feel embarassed or happy wit the way Sorensen and Niland competed in their respective matches both retiring and being demolished in their matches even though they both qualified. I mean, when's the last time an irish man qualified for the us open or a slam for that matter or let alone 2 irish men?

09-27-2011, 12:47 PM
Conor playing the 42.5k Mdrid Challenger on the red clay this week. He won his first round match against the wildcard Ivan Arenas-Gualda 64 63. Next up is the 4th seed Eric Prodon.

09-28-2011, 05:40 PM
Lost in the second round to Eric Prodon 6-7(1) 0-6. For next week he is currently 16th alt for the Mons Challenger.

10-11-2011, 09:27 AM
Conor is playing a futures tournament in France this week. In the first round he came back from a set down to defeat Tak Khunn Wang 5-7 6-3 6-2. Wang did take David Guez to three sets last week as well so not completely unexpected Conor had troubles. Next up is Holger Fischer.

10-12-2011, 06:13 PM
Took care of Holger Fischer 6-3 6-2. In the Quarters he faces Gleb Sakharov.

10-16-2011, 01:04 PM
defeated Sakharov 6-4 6-1 before losing to Olivier Patience in the semi final with a scoreline of 6-7 3-6.

Henry Chinaski
10-16-2011, 03:47 PM
serious slump when he can't even win a weak futures as top seed

Henry Chinaski
10-24-2011, 06:02 PM
niland is in serious danger of missing cut for Oz Open qualies now.

Needs a title this week in France with 109 points coming off next month.

it would be horrible to miss out after what he achieved in qualies last year

10-26-2011, 06:18 PM
Into the quarters after a surprisingly hard fought 4-6 6-3 6-1 win over Jean Andersen and then a straightforward 6/4 6/4 win over Rudy Coco. In the quarters he will play 5th seed Romain Jouan. Jouan lost to Coco last week so the formline stacks up well for Niland.

Are you still going to the Aus Open Henry?

10-28-2011, 03:00 PM
Conor lost 6-1 6-4. Now off to the Eckental Challenger in Germany next week.

Henry Chinaski
10-28-2011, 03:17 PM
yeah man. Flying into Sydney on the 10th of January, few days there then off to melbourne for 10 days or so.

doesn't look like Niland will be joining me there at this rate unless he can produce an inspired performance in Salzburg and defend most of his points there...

11-09-2011, 09:25 AM
Conor won hıs fırst round match agaınst Andrea Arnaboldi at the Loughborough Challenger wıth a scorelıne of 6-3 7-5. Next up ıs the second seed Tobıas Kamke.

yeah man. Flying into Sydney on the 10th of January, few days there then off to melbourne for 10 days or so.

doesn't look like Niland will be joining me there at this rate unless he can produce an inspired performance in Salzburg and defend most of his points there...

Should be good. I am hopıng to make it there this year as well but at the moment it looks like I will have to be content with just going to Brisbane and Sydney.

11-12-2011, 11:30 AM
Conor won the fırst set 6-3 but then got double bagelled.

Henry Chinaski
11-12-2011, 04:59 PM

Henry Chinaski
01-01-2012, 06:52 PM
A long review of the year

sorensen plans to return to tour and goal is to make qualies at last 3 majors of season

Henry Chinaski
01-10-2012, 06:38 PM
I have been prolific last 2 days

Oz Open qualies:

Henry Chinaski
01-10-2012, 06:39 PM
oops wrong thread

Week 1 irish tennis round up

Tennis Elite
04-06-2012, 04:36 PM
Great win for McGee in the Davis Cup, he's on a roll now

Henry Chinaski
04-06-2012, 11:16 PM
yeah, shame about Niland.

looks like he might be done.

04-12-2012, 04:04 PM
yeah, shame about Niland.

looks like he might be done.

Conor Niland has confirmed his retirement.
Irish no. 1 and Davis Cup team member, Conor Niland, has today announced his retirement due to a reoccurring hip injury.

Henry Chinaski
04-12-2012, 05:09 PM
sad new, but yes, kind of expected.

Tennis Elite
04-25-2012, 08:50 PM
So who is going to replace Niland as number one over the next few years?

Can anybody have the same kind of success as he has?

Henry Chinaski
04-30-2012, 02:40 PM
McGee is arguably as talented as Conor and is a better athlete. He also has a superb work-rate.

He's mentally a million miles away from Conor and still loses far too many close matches but he still has time.

Niland was 28 before he cracked the top 200.

Sam Barry has a bigger game than either. It will be interesting to see how he develops after going straight into the pros rather than the usual US Collegiate route...

06-23-2012, 05:14 PM
Well done to James McGee on winning the Melilla Futures in Spain today! Defeated Safwat 6-3 7-5. Second title of the year!

Henry Chinaski
06-23-2012, 07:01 PM
vamos jimbo.

03-23-2013, 01:58 PM
Great week for James reaching the QF of the Rimouski Challenger. Very unlucky not to get past number 1 seed Vasek Pospisil losing 3-6 7-6(5) 5-7. Seems his new coach Joseph O' Dwyer is bringing the best out of James, playing top quality tennis. 1st RD: Defeated Polansky 6-4 6-4 and 2nd RD: Defeated Wang 5-7 6-4 6-2.
Also made the final in Brownsville future few weeks ago losing to De Voest in the final. Project high ranking of 273 next week and getting closer grand slam qualies!:)

07-18-2014, 11:32 PM
James into the semis in Granby CH

Into the top 200 for the first time :worship:

The Lad
08-23-2014, 10:58 AM
James McGee flying the flag for Ireland in the main draw, been a couple of years since we've seen it at a slam event but good luck to the man.

08-23-2014, 11:08 AM
TUR futures Bjorn Thomson IRL 16y 9m (31.10.1997)

R32 Thomson vs. Duberville (2-6, 6-3, 6-1)
R16 Thomson vs. (4)Erguden ATP-574 (4-6, 6-3, 5-7)

1 ATP p.