Tennis: Hamstrung Sorensen to be fit for next Davis outing
LOUK SORENSEN will be sidelined for at least four weeks by the hamstring injury which caused him to miss Ireland's Davis Cup win over Turkey -- but he will recover in time for Ireland's next Cup tie.
According to his father Sean, the Ireland team boss, a scan carried out in Stuttgart has revealed that Sorensen has an inflamed tendon.
"It will be at least another four weeks before he will be able to play in a tournament again," said Sorensen senior. "However, even if it's around the end of April or so before Louk gets back playing, there won't be any problem about him being available for the Davis Cup tie against Lithuania in July."
The Irish No 1 was apparently troubled by the hamstring injury during the course of his excellent run in the Australian Open, where he reached the second round.
"It definitely gave him a bit of bother in Melbourne, but the fact that the temperature was generally over 35 degrees was a major advantage in helping play through the injury," said his father.
In Sorensen's absence, though, the Ireland team showed that they possess a significant degree of strength in depth, with James McGee deputising impressively.
McGee put the highly experienced Haluk Akkoyun to the sword in three sets, and teamed up with Barry King for a doubles win. The pair returned to tournament action in this week's ITF Futures event in Bath.
However, both Irish players lost in the first round, McGee 3-6, 3-6 to Briton Josh Goodall, and King 6-2, 4-6, 3-6 to Finland's Henri Kontinen, the No 6 seed.
After taking the week off to practise at the Tennis Ireland complex at DCU, world No 241 Conor Niland -- whose sensational 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 Davis Cup win over 121-ranked Marsel Ilhan put the Irish firmly in the driving seat -- resumes tournament action in next week's ATP Challenger Tour in Jersey.
Niland and Ilhan were paired against each other again in the first round of last week's ATP Challenger Tour event in Sarajevo, with the Limerick man racking up a third straight win against the Turkish No 1 on a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) scoreline.
But the Irish No 2 failed to find the same sparkle and fluency in his second-round match, losing 0-6 3-6 to Germany's 174-ranked Tobias Kempe.
In badminton, Scott Evans and Chloe Magee, after having to qualify for the All-England Open and the Swiss Open, will carry Irish hopes in this week's Romanian Open.
World No 65 Evans is seeded No 2, while 76-ranked Magee is seeded No 4, a position she also holds with her brother Sam in the mixed doubles.
Sam Magee also takes part in the men's doubles, along with Tony Stephenson.
On the domestic front, the interprovincial championships take place this weekend in Baldoyle, and the All-Ireland School Finals are scheduled for Gormanston College next Wednesday.