Niland praises Barry after Davis Cup heroics
Published 07/03/2016 | 02:30
Conor Niland says that Sam Barry's five-star performance against the former world No 8 Marcos Baghdatis in Ireland's Davis Cup promotion play-off clash against Cyprus is an outstanding omen for his future professional career.
Deemed a no-hoper, 395-ranked Barry amazingly kept the current world No 39 on court for a marathon one hour and 53 minutes.
The Irishman eventually come up short on a 6-4 7-6 (7/3) scoreline in the second rubber of the Europe Zone Group Three event in Tallinn, Estonia, on Saturday.
With Co Down's Peter Bothwell having lost 6-1 2-6 6-0 to Petros Chrysochos in the opening match, Cyprus built an unbeatable 2-0 lead and secured the promotion slot to compete in Group Two of the Europe-Africa Zone in next year's Davis Cup.
Of the performance of 24-year-old Limerick man Barry, Ireland boss Niland (below) said: "Sam made a world-class player work extremely hard for the win, and he can use this performance to help him push on in the rankings in the coming months.
"All our guys competed very well and it was great to have two players in Bjorn (Thomson) and Peter (Bothwell) make their Davis Cup debuts with wins.
"Over the week, we did extremely to get three wins (against Albania, Armenia and Macedonia), but we unfortunately came up against a very good team in Cyprus."
The Irish side was depleted at the tournament by the absence of national No 1 James McGee.