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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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Old 01-19-2010, 11:13 PM   #47
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Default Re: Irish Tennis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sodal
Do you think Louk should have his own thread?
Quote:
Originally Posted by paddyirl View Post
Lets not get ahead of ourselves.
How about now?

Warning, Louk is now in Getty Images and Day Life. Pictures (from actual recent activity...yeah, I mean yesterday....) now coming..
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:20 PM   #48
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Default Re: Irish Tennis

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





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Old 01-19-2010, 11:37 PM   #49
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Default Re: Irish Tennis

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



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

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Old 01-20-2010, 12:33 AM   #50
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Default Re: Irish Tennis

Matt Doyle won matches at Slams as an IRL player?? No??

Why does the article say first in Open Era.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:50 AM   #51
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Default Re: Irish Tennis

Quote:
Originally Posted by paddyirl View Post
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:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/8467182.stm

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:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/spo...cle6993260.ece

"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:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2010...ustralian-open

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."
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:04 AM   #52
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Default Re: Irish Tennis

Quote:
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
http://www.rte.ie/sport/tennis/2010/...stralianm.html



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.'
---------------------------
EDIT:
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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1985_Au...en%27s_Singles
========================
Just to make things more confusing, The Irish Times reports (in a pretty spare article):
http://www.irishtimes.com/sports/oth...262645616.html

"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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1984_Wi...en%27s_Singles
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:22 AM   #53
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Default Re: Irish Tennis

The match vs Isner is now live and 3 different live streams can be found here:

http://www.fromsport.com/c-4.html

I am watching this stream: http://www.fromsport.com/video-155955.html

Isner won the first set 6-3.

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?

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Old 01-20-2010, 04:37 AM   #54
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Default Re: Irish Tennis

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. 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.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:30 PM   #55
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Default Re: Irish Tennis

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!
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:14 PM   #56
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Default Re: Irish Tennis

Strange all the confusion about the last irishman to play in a slam.

tennis.com 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?
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:10 AM   #57
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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.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:10 PM   #58
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Default Re: Irish Tennis

Getty Images published some fantastic photos of Louk from his match with Isner. The expressions they captured are priceless. 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.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:40 PM   #59
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Default Re: Irish Tennis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederico View Post
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.

Thanks!

Items of Interest:

-RTE Audio Interviews: http://www.rte.ie/sport/tennis/2010/...stralianm.html

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

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Nole: 2009 Paris Bercy Masters & 2010 Dubai ATP500 Champion
Soderking: 2010 ABN AMRO Rotterdam ATP500 Champion
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Del Pony: 2009 U.S. Open Champion (Please come back! )
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Last edited by Nolby : 01-21-2010 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:01 PM   #60
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Default Re: Irish Tennis

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
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