Friday 23 March 2018

Racquets: Sorensen targets Houston main draw on road back to full fitness

Sorensen: seven-month lay-off
Sorensen: seven-month lay-off

Paddy Hickey

Louk Sorensen is set to take another important step on his road back from an almost seven- month injury lay-off.

Sorensen was sidelined from tournament activity from August 2010 to March 14 because of a combination of hamstring and pubic muscle injuries.

But now with three tournaments on the second-tier ATP Challenger Tour under his belt, the Irish No 2 has earmarked the top-tier ATP World Tour as his next goal in the chase for world ranking points.

Sorensen has set his sights on next week's US Claycourt Championships in Houston, which gets under way with the qualifying rounds on Saturday.

Ranked 487 in the world, the Stuttgart-based player, who peaked at 213 in February 2010, will have to slug it out in the preliminary action in an attempt to make the main draw.

He needs to win three matches to have an opportunity to test himself against the likes of the USA's world No 15 Mardy Fish, last year's champion, Argentina's 28-ranked Juan Ignacio Chela, or Australia's former Wimbledon and US Open champion Lleyton Hewitt.

Also in the field is the host country's 33-ranked John Isner, who defeated Sorensen in the second round of last year's Australian Open.

Sorensen's participation in Texas will be his first on the ATP World Tour since the Chennai Open in India in January 2010.

On that occasion, he won three matches in qualifying before exiting 2-6, 1-6 to France's Stephane Robert in the first round proper.

In addition to the three Challenger events this month -- in Ecuador, Chile and Costa Rica -- Sorensen subsequently enjoyed the considerable benefit of 10 days of practice in Florida.

"After getting through the three tournaments without any problems, the practice in Florida was an additional bonus," enthused Sorensen, who beat Brazil's 157-ranked Rogerio Dutra Da Silva 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of the Costa Rica event in which he reached the quarter-finals.

That victory was notable as he lost to Da Silva (6-3, 1-6, 4-6) in the first round in Chile, after winning three matches in qualifying.

He added: "I decided to go to South America because I felt the warmer climate at this time of the year would be better for my muscles and that worked out fine for me."

Irish Independent

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