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Old 01-19-2010, 11:08 PM   #46
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Default Re: Irish Tennis

This deserves a full post and appreciation. This article (along with an actual recent photo!!! ) by the UK Telegraph:

Australian Open 2010: Louk Sorensen's shock win eclipses Roger Federer on day two
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/ten...n-day-two.html
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.
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Last edited by Nolby : 01-19-2010 at 11:41 PM.
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