Sunday 21 January 2018

Niland heroics land US Open spot

TENNIS

CONOR NILAND has followed up his feat of qualifying for the main draw of this year's Wimbledon for the first time by replicating the feat for the US Open.

And arguably making the Irish No 1's achievement even sweeter was the fact that he really had to dig deep for his victory over the Netherlands' Matwe Middelkoop at Flushing Meadows yesterday.

World No 199 Niland, who had never previously advanced past the second round of qualifying in the New York event, looked to be in severe trouble when he won only two games in the opener. But he stormed back in magnificent style to pull off a 2-6 6-1 6-4 victory.

And Louk Sorensen followed suit as he saw off Martin Fischer 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 to advance to the main draw.

EQUESTRIAN

Ireland finished seventh of the eight competing countries in the final round of the FEI Nations Cup Superleague series in Rotterdam yesterday. But good results earlier in the season ensured a fourth-place finishing spot on the league table, which guarantees entry to next year's premier tournament.

Pathfinder Niall Talbot (Nicos de la Cense), Denis Lynch (Abbervail van het Dingeshof) and Billy Twomey (Romanov) all had a fence down and additional time faults in each of the two rounds. But Alexander Butler was eliminated when Will Wimble slammed on the brakes at the open-water jump first time out, and didn't reappear in round two.

Germany, meanwhile, clinched the series title.

CRICKET

Kevin Pietersen has been left out of the England one-day squad for the five-match series against India.

England have decided to rest the batsman following the Test series win, although he has been named in the squad for Wednesday's Twenty20 international.

Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes, who made his debut against Ireland on Thursday, has been named in both squads.

Irish Independent

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