View Full Version : Has Ireland ever produced a good tennis player ?

Jan 28th, 2010, 10:17 PM
anybody knows? It interests me as there are so many Irish posters here.

Szavay #1
Jan 28th, 2010, 10:20 PM

Jan 28th, 2010, 10:25 PM
As matter of fact, there was an Irish palyer in the main draw in this Assie open.
I think he may have won 1 or 2 rounds.

On the other hand they can alwasy claim he McEnroe brothers, Jimmy Connors, all of Irish ancestry.

Jan 28th, 2010, 10:28 PM
Ireland pwned the tour in the late 1800s. Plus theres his guy. He makes Serena look like a puppy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vere_St._Leger_Goold

Jan 28th, 2010, 10:31 PM
Yeah pre-Open era there were many. The first Olympic gold medalist I believe was Irish but obviously competed for Britian at that time. Also the first non American female USOpen winner was Irish Mabel Cahill.

Matt Doyle was Top 100 but he wasn't "produced" by Ireland he was just a Irish American who defected.

Jan 28th, 2010, 10:51 PM
World number one, multiple grand slam winners...around the turn of the 20th century! From the 1880's until the 1910's there were quite a few very good ones.

Jan 28th, 2010, 11:02 PM
Maybe Ireland should try to "buy" some players, like Kazakhstan :confused:

Jan 28th, 2010, 11:10 PM
I remember seeing that Julie Coin lost in a challenger to an Irish player a couple of weeks before her famous win over Ivanovic. I thought it was a pretty good signal of how far Ivanovic had fallen.

Jan 28th, 2010, 11:14 PM
Interesting stuff about the early days about tennis, that murder case is both spooky and exotic.

Jan 28th, 2010, 11:18 PM
Maybe Ireland should try to "buy" some players, like Kazakhstan :confused:

I agree with this but it would never happen.

Liggan beat Coin the week before Coin beat Ivanovic, that result really shocked me :lol:

Jan 28th, 2010, 11:19 PM
I remember seeing that Julie Coin lost in a challenger to an Irish player a couple of weeks before her famous win over Ivanovic. I thought it was a pretty good signal of how far Ivanovic had fallen.
Must've been Kelly Liggan, then. Only recent female player I know.

Jan 28th, 2010, 11:22 PM
Kelly Liggan won a WTA Doubles title a few years ago and nearly qualified for the Main Draw of the Australian Open, that was a first WTA title of any kind for Irish Women

Jan 28th, 2010, 11:30 PM
As matter of fact, there was an Irish palyer in the main draw in this Assie open.
I think he may have won 1 or 2 rounds.
Louk Sorensen is Irish, but was raised and lives in Stuttgart, Germany. His parents has since moved back to Ireland, but Louk still lives in Stuttgart.
He went through the AO qualification and lost in round 2 of the main darw to John Isner in 3 sets.

AO profile: http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/players/overview/atpsd69.html

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louk_Sorensen
Louk Sorensen (born January 7 1985)[1] is a professional tennis player from Ireland.

He is the first player representing Ireland to win a Grand Slam match in the Open Era. His father, Sean, was the first Irishman to play a Grand Slam match in the Open Era, but went out in the first round at Wimbledon. The other contender for the honor was Matt Doyle, who reached the fourth round of the US Open in 1982 (where he was beaten by John McEnroe, incidentally also of Irish descent). However, Doyle played under the American flag and only became an Irish citizen in 1985.

Personal Life

He is the son of Sean Sorensen, the current captain of the Ireland Davis Cup team, who played in the first round of Wimbledon in 1977, losing to Rod Laver and finished runner-up to Mats Wilander at an ATP Challenger Tour event in Buchholz, Germany, in February 1982. His older brother, Kevin, was also a professional tennis player and competed for Ireland in the Davis Cup until 2006. He also has two sisters, Lisa and Josephine. Sorensen was raised in Germany and although his parents now live in Dublin, he remains in Stuttgart, training with German coach, Carsten Arriens, who also coaches Germans Andreas Beck and Alexander Waske, and playing for third division Bundesliga tennis club TC Doggenburg[3]. As of January 2010, he is the Irish No.1, and is a prominent member of the Irish Davis Cup team, holding a 10-2 singles record, having made his debut in July 2005.

Sorensen's surname is of Norwegian origin. His mother, Helga, has both German and Austrian blood.

He makes some funny face while playing it seems.
http://www.australianopen.com/images/players/atpsd69.jpg http://www.australianopen.com/images/pics/large/b_sorensen_funny_20_01.jpg

Jan 28th, 2010, 11:34 PM
Maybe Ireland should try to "buy" some players, like Kazakhstan :confused:

And what would this do for tennis in Ireland? Nothing.

Tennis Ireland spending a major chunk of their funding on a mid-ranked journeywoman to play with IRL beside their name would be hugely impractical. It would probably never recoup its investment because there still wouldn't be enough interest drummed up in tennis here.

Mid-ranked journeywomen or men are not going to fuel interest in tennis in Ireland. Simple as. And the facilities are nowhere near good enough to attract any top 50 player to base themselves here.

The only way tennis in Ireland benefits is if an Irish-born player is successful enough to be featured in the latter stages of main tour events on a consistent basis and could make a couple of good slam runs. The chances of that happening are zilch.

Tennis just isn't popular enough here and the talent pool is much too small anyway. Tennis in Ireland faces the same main problem that the UK does when it comes to recruiting young players, only the problem is magnified much more for Ireland because of the population figure. Tennis has too many middle to upper-class connotations and completely alienates the working class, even further narrowing its talent pool. Not only this but coaching systems here are extremely sub-standard, as are the facilities.

Jan 28th, 2010, 11:37 PM
Maybe Ireland should try to "buy" some players, like Kazakhstan :confused:

Maybe Ekaterina Makarova can play for Ireland and change her last name to MacArova. :worship:

Jan 28th, 2010, 11:47 PM
Maybe Ekaterina Makarova can play for Ireland and change her last name to MacArova. :worship:

Ioana can play for Ireland too as Ioana Raluca O'Laru :worship:

Jan 28th, 2010, 11:50 PM

Louk Sorensen claims first Irish grand slam win in open era at Australian Open

• 'It's the biggest achievement of my career so far'
• Sorensen makes history with first-round victory
Simon Cambers (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/simon-cambers)
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/), Tuesday 19 January 2010 08.58 GMT
Article history (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2010/jan/19/luke-sorensen-irish-australian-open#history-byline)
Louk Sorensen of Ireland hits a return during his first-round victory at the Australian Open. Photograph: Tim Wimborne/Reuters

Simon Cambers Melbourne

Ireland (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/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 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/tennis), so we'd be happy if he plays."

The last time Doyle played at the Australian Open (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/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."