Saturday 21 April 2018

Raquets: Cahill admits Sorensen retirement 'a huge loss'

Paddy HIckey

Davis Cup boss Garry Cahill says the premature retirement of Louk Sorensen is a massive blow to Ireland's prospects for the forthcoming relegation play-off showdown against Tunisia in Dublin.

Irish tennis fans were stunned last weekend when Sorensen (26), called time on his pro career because of a succession of injuries.

"Louk is going to be a huge loss in the tie against Tunisia," said Cahill, whose charges face the North African outfit at David Lloyd Riverview on July 8-10.

"He wasn't able to play in the Davis Cup in 2010 and in this year's tie against Luxembourg in March because of injuries. But we were hoping to have him back for the Tunisia tie.

"However, we now have to plan without Louk, and that's going to make it much more difficult for us to come out on top against the Tunisians, who will take a lot of encouragement from the fact that Louk will not be playing against them.

"It wouldn't be so bad if we were just going to be without Louk for the Tunisia tie, but the fact that he will never play again for Ireland in the Davis Cup makes it so much more difficult to come to terms with his retirement.

"Louk's value to Ireland in the Davis Cup was perhaps particularly shown when he pushed (2006 Australian Open runner-up) Marcos Baghdatis to five sets in the 2009 tie against Cyprus in Nicosia, in what turned out to be his last Davis Cup match."

Of course, as well as his loss to the Ireland Davis Cup team, Sorensen's decision to retire robs him of the chance to build on his heroics in last year's Australian Open, when he won a total of four matches -- three in the qualifying round and one in the main draw.

On that occasion, the Stuttgart native, who achieved a career-high mark of 213 in the singles world rankings in February 2010, shocked Taipei's 101-ranked Yen-Hsun Lu in the first round before bowing out to the USA's 28-ranked John Isner at the next stage.

Sorensen's injury problems began at 15 when he ruptured the cruciate ligament in his left knee playing football.

Since then he has suffered damaged cartilage in his right knee, a ruptured hamstring ligament in his right leg, a herniated disc in his back, inflammation of the pubic bone, numerous stomach muscle tears, eight ligament tears on both ankles, and his most recent problem of damage to cartilage in his left knee.

"Louk could have had an operation on his knee, but it was getting to a stage where no sooner had he recovered from one injury that he picked up another," explained his father Sean, the former Davis Cup ace and Ireland team boss.

"It's not a decision that Louk has taken lightly as he's going to badly miss all the buzz and excitement of playing in tournaments and in the Davis Cup for Ireland."

Irish Independent

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