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Morrissey seals French and Wimbledon juniors

DUBLINER John Morrissey will provide Ireland with a player in the main draw at the junior French Tennis Open at Roland Garros, with the draw being made on May 31.

Morrissey has been on the junior tour for the last few seasons and, with a world ranking of 39, has been part of an ITF development plan for 12 players from lesser tennis nations who are inside the world's top 40.

As part of this squad, Morrissey will not only play at Roland Garros but also at Junior Wimbledon next month -- the first Irish junior player to do so.

Other tournaments include Grade 1 events at Santa Croce (played last week), Astrid Bowl, Offenbach and Roehampton, the Italian Open and the two Grand Slams.

Morrissey, aged 17, is also hoping to qualify for the World Youth Olympics in Singapore next August.

This week, Morrissey is playing in the Italian Open in Milan on clay.

He warmed up by playing at Santa Croce, where he was seeded No 10.

After beating Italian Edoardo Eremin 6-1 7-5 in the first round, he came up against Christian Plattes of Germany, losing in three sets.

In the doubles, paired up with Jeson Patrombon from the Philippines, he made it to the quarter-finals before going out to eventual winners Bartosz Sawicki and Maciej Smola from Poland.

In Milan, Morrissey beat Ricardo Rodriguez from Venezuela in the opening round and then played Tim Nekic of Germany.


After his great win at the Israel Challenger, Conor Niland opened his campaign to qualify for the main draw at Roland Garros with a solid 6-4, 6-4 win over British player Alex Bogdanovic, ranked 161 in the world, just eight places ahead of the Limerick man.

Niland broke Bogdanovic's serve to go 4-3 up in the first set but was pushed hard to hold his own serve in the next game.

After surviving a game point against him at deuce, he controlled the rest of the match, with the Briton struggling to control an erratic serve.

Louk Sorensen went out in the opening round of the qualifiers, losing to Argentinian player Jose Acasuso 7-6, 6-4.

Only at 4-4 in the second set did Acasuso finally break the Sorensen serve to take the tie.

Sorensen, who has struggled with injury since reaching the second round of the Australian Open last January, had warmed up by competing on clay at the Canella Challenger in Italy.

He beat Andrea Arnaboldi of Italy in the opening round but then went out to Yannick Mertens of Belgium, despite a great start when he won the first set 6-1.