Cork Tennis Blog

Welcome to the Cork Tennis Blog.

This blog will, hopefully, keep you up to date on the tennis scene in Cork, both socially and competitively. Whether you are new to the game or an experienced player I hope you find the information and posts here, useful and interesting.

You can contact me by email at rob@racketrestringing.ie

As well as local tennis news, there are also some very good articles written by local players and I am always looking for people to contribute to the blog, so don't be shy.

Please also feel free to comment on individual posts, or alternatively through the comment box on the right of the blog. I hope you enjoy reading through the blog and that it was of some use to you.

Enjoy your game, Rob

Rob's Racketrestringing

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Great Article from the New York Times Tennis Blog.

Tennis in Ireland has struggled to get coverage from the Irish Media something that has annoyed me for a long time. This is an article from the New York Times Tennis Blog, hopefully some sports reporters see this and think maybe tennis is worth covering.

At the Open, Two Players from Ireland Make History
By DAVE SEMINARA
When Novak Djokovic steps onto the court for his first round match at this year’s Open, it’ll be his New York debut as world number one, but it will be the unfamiliar player on the other side of the net who will be making history. That man is Conor Niland, a 29-year-old Irishman, who, together with countryman Louk Sorensen, will be the first Irish players ever to compete in the main draw of the U.S. Open.

“We’re pretty certain in saying that no Irish player has made it into the U.S. Open main draw,” said Des Allen, the C.E.O. of Tennis Ireland, who is at the moment stuck in Dublin due to Hurricane Irene, trying to find a flight to New York for the Open.

Allen said that this is probably the biggest thing to happen to Irish tennis since 1983; that was the year Ireland made it into the world group of the Davis Cup and faced John McEnroe and the rest of the U.S. team in Dublin. The Irish team was then led by Louk Sorensen’s father, Sean, and an Irish-American named Matt Doyle. Doyle was born in the U.S. and competed in the main draw of the Open on four occasions–but at that time he hadn’t yet obtained Irish citizenship.

The Irish lost to the Yanks, 4-1, but Doyle gave the home crowd a thrill by beating Eliott Teltscher, who was then a top ten player, leveling the tie at 1-1 on the opening day.
“At the time, the movie ‘E.T.’ was big, and the Irish crowd was taunting Telscher, yelling ‘E.T. go home!’” recalled Allen, who was in attendance that day.

But Irish tennis fans have had little to cheer about since that moment nearly 30 years ago. Tennis is considered a second tier sport in Ireland, well behind soccer, Gaelic football, hurling and rugby in terms of popularity and participation. Allen estimates that there are only about 2,000 tennis courts in the country and about 150,000 players. Allen said that so far the Irish press hasn’t taken much interest in their two homegrown players at the Open, but he hopes that Niland’s match against Djokovic might galvanize them to take an interest in the sport, particularly if it’s scheduled during the day in New York, so Irish fans don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to watch it.

Niland grew up in Limerick, the hometown of Frank McCourt, and trains at Tennis Ireland’s National Academy in Dublin, which boasts seven indoor courts with a surface that is “nearly identical” to that of Flushing Meadows, according to Allen. Niland has spent much of the last four years competing on the challenger circuit, after playing for four years at University of California at Berkeley, toiling in places like Sarajevo, Casablanca, and Savannah, amongst hundreds of other cities.

He peaked at #129 last year and fought his way through the qualifying tournament to make the main draw of Wimbledon this year. He narrowly missed a chance to play Roger Federer, after failing to close out a 4-1 lead in the fifth set against Adrian Mannarino. Before that showing, Niland had never made it out of the qualifying rounds at a major and the closest he’s come to facing top ten talent is some sparring sessions with Andy Murray. Nonetheless, Allen believes that Niland won’t be “undone” by Djokovic, who has lost just two matches all year.

“It’s a wonderful draw and I think that’s how Conor feels about it, it’s a huge opportunity,” Allen said. “Almost certainly it will be on Arthur Ashe, and no matter what level you’re at or who you are, the idea of playing the world number one in front of 20 odd thousand people is something that Conor won’t be shying away from.”

Allen said he believes that the crowd is likely to be on Niland’s side.

“I don’t know how popular Djokovic is in New York, he’s had his ups and downs there,” he said. “I think Conor may very well have the majority of support in the stadium, particularly if the match gets a little tight.”
Anyone predicting a Niland victory over Djokovic would probably be accused of tucking into a bit too much green beer, but no matter what the result is, the publicity can only help Irish tennis.

Louk Sorensen, ranked #618 in the world, is also not likely to be picked by many to upset his first round opponent, the sixth seed, Robin Soderling. Sorensen, who grew up in County Cork and has an Irish father and German mother, nearly quit the sport earlier this year after being plagued by a variety of injuries over the last few years, but decided to give it one more go after regaining his health and form this spring.

The 26-year-old won a round at the Australian Open last year but has played mostly on the challenger circuit. He barely squeaked into the qualifying tournament but after beating three opponents will have more recent match play than Soderling, who hasn’t played in a hard-court tournament since March.

No matter what the results, the long Irish drought at the Open is over. The press in Ireland still may devote more space to Rory McIlroy’s romance with women’s tennis’ number one, Caroline Wozniacki, but Allen thinks that the sport has a bright future in the Emerald Isle.

“The statistics are stacked against us, but this is a huge platform for Irish tennis,” he said.

If he can’t find a flight to New York, Allen will be watching Ireland’s two native sons, even if that means staying up all night staring at his computer screen in bed.

“For a fanatic like me, it may be the only way,” he said.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ballinlough Open starting soon

Ballinlough Open is due to get underway soon and entries are still being taken.

To enter online click here.

Ballinlough have built this tournament up over the years to be one of the most enjoyable on the calender.
Their hospitality and friendliness is second to none and this is always reflected in their entries.

For a very enjoyable week whether you are playing or not why not drop into the club from the 1st of September to the 10th of September and you will be made feel very welcome and will get to enjoy some very good tennis.

Interfirm In Rushbrooke

Calling all tennis players: Teams are coming through for the Inter-firm in aid of the Irish cancer society. To enter use the on-line link above or contact Eamonn Crotty on 087-9863805 or entry forms are available from the bar.
Anybody not part of a team and wishing to play can also send in their details and they will be put into a team. Please note that all proceeds from this event are going to the Irish cancer society.


Eamonn, his family and friends are putting a lot of time and energy into fund raising for the Irish Cancer Society.
This is one of many events they organise to help raise funds and all have being very successful with a lot of money raised to date.

If you can lend your support in anyway, either by entering a team or coming down and supporting the event please do so.

East Cork Senior Open Underway

The East Cork Senior Open is on at Lower Aghada tennis club since Sunday.
This is an all doubles event and should provide some very competitive matches.

To keep to date with scores and to check the schedule click here.

Douglas Senior Open Singles Tournament

I love the idea of this tournament, a singles only event.  Even though I have yet to play in it, I think it is a great idea and hopefully more clubs follow suit.

Judging by the number of entries it obviously is a very popular event and fittingly finals day produced some very close and entertaining matches.

Congratulations to the organisers and to all the participants.

Results:

MS 1: Duncan Cronin V Kevin Higgins 6-4, 6-2
MS 2: Paul Flynn V Conor McCarthy 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
MS 3: Jonathon Mulcahy V Egon IIyes 4-0 ret.
MS 4: Kevin Moynihan V Jonathon Mulcahy 6-1, 6-4
MS 5: Brendan Noonan V Mark O Connor 6-4, 7-5
MS 6: Mark Cronin V Martin Hurley 6-2, 4-6, 7-6

WS 3: Joanna O Riordan V Karen Barry 2-6, 6-4, 6-1
WS 4: Monica Twomey V Ann Bogan 6-3, 6-3
WS 5: Susan Wallace V Siobhan Cronin 6-1, 6-3
WS 6: Siobhan Cronin V Emer Groarke 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

William Fry Junior Irish Open - Fitzwilliam

A long summer came to an end for our juniors in Fitzwilliam last weekend.  We had a very large number of Cork players taking part in the various events.  The standard was very high in all age groups and competition for places in the main draw were not guaranteed, with a lot of events having qualifying rounds.
I would like to congratulate all players who made it into main draws and say well done to all who reached finals.

Cork had one winner and this was Siobhan Ryan Bovey in the Girls U-18 doubles when she teamed up with Sinead Lohan of Tramore to win a tough 3 set final.

Other finalists on the day were Emily Daly in the U-14 Girls singles and doubles finals, Rachel Daly in the Girls U-16 doubles finals, Niall Casey in the Boys U-14 singles final.

Other players who made it through in the main draws were:

Boys singles U-12: Davydas Sadauskas
Boys singles U-14: Sean O Callaghan, Niall Casey and Daniel Moloney.
Mixed doubles U-14: Cathy O Neill
Boys doubles U-14: Ben Rasmussen and Adam O Sullivan
Boys singles U-16: Gary Stack and David Gardiner
Girls singles U-16: Rachel Daly
Boys Doubles U-16: David Gardiner
Mixed doubles U-16: Rachel Daly and David Gardiner
Boys singles U-18: Adam Rasmussen and Sam Thompson
Girls Singles U-18: Siobhan Ryan Bovey, Jane Daly and Danielle Geary
Boys doubles U-18: James Reidy, Adam Rasmussen, Gary Stack, Mark Hannon and Sam Thompson

Well done to all, keep up the hard work.