Saturday 21 January 2017

Tennis: Sorensen gets nod for Davis opener

Published 10/02/2012 | 05:00

IRELAND Davis Cup boss Garry Cahill has opted for the experience of Louk Sorensen over the higher world ranking of James McGee for this weekend's first-round clash with Hungary in Szeged, WRITES PADDY HICKEY.

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McGee is currently ranked at 353 compared to Sorensen's mark of 451, but the Stuttgart-based right-hander has vastly more Davis Cup experience -- 10 ties to five.

And Sorensen, who was ranked at 213 in February 2010, would almost certainly currently occupy a higher place in the world ladder but for being sidelined through injury for much of last year and also temporarily retired for two months.

Today, Sorensen opens proceedings in the three-day contest against the home team's No 1 player Adam Kellner, who is ranked at 316. And in the second rubber, Irish No 1 Conor Niland, who is ranked at 311, faces the Magyars' No 2 Marton Fucsovics, who is placed at 575.

For tomorrow's doubles, Cahill has nominated McGee and Davis Cup debutant Sam Barry and in Sunday's reverse singles Niland will face Kellner in the opener, with Sorensen squaring up to Fucsovics.

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CYCLING

The line-up for the 2012 An Post-sponsored Sean Kelly Cycling team was revealed in Brussels yesterday, with an 18-man team announced including 10 new signings.

Mark Cassidy, Sean Downey, Sam Bennett, Connor McConvey and Ronan McLaughlin are the only Irish riders in the squad, which also includes four British riders, seven Belgians, one Australian and a Lithuanian.

Last year's An Post Ras winner Gediminas Bagdonas and Mi-Aout Bretagne stage race winner Mark McNally return to the squad after their potential moves to the big-time fell through.

Newcomers to the 2012 squad include former Saxo Bank pro Johnny Bellis, Australian U-23 champion Scott Law and former Irish U-23 champion Downey.

Meanwhile, 1997 Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich has been handed a two-year ban for doping by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Ullrich has had all of his results since May 2005 annulled.

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EQUESTRIAN

The climax of the fifth week of competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida is tomorrow night's World Cup qualifier in which there will be four Irish contenders, WRITES LOUISE PARKES.

The Irish have been consistently in the line-up throughout the tournament, which runs for a further seven weeks, offering $6m (€4.5m) in prize money.

US-based Corkman Shane Sweetnam got a confidence boost ahead of this weekend's major class when runner-up with Rolette in yesterday's G&C Farms 1.45m event.

Joining Sweetnam will be Cian O'Connor, Kevin Babington and Darragh Kerins.

Irish Independent

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