Sunday 17 December 2017

Tennis: King to make Ireland Davis Cup bow as O'Brien axed for Turkey clash

Paddy Hickey

DUBLINER Barry King has received a maiden call-up to Davis Cup action for Ireland's forthcoming first-round clash with Turkey in Dublin.

The newcomer will link up with Australian Open hero Louk Sorensen, Conor Niland and James McGee for the Europe-Africa Group 2 indoor tie at the Fitz-william Club from March 5-7.

King (24) has received the nod from team boss Sean Sorensen over his fellow Dub Colin O'Brien, who has played in four successive ties in the competition since making his debut in the first-round showdown against Morocco, in Dublin, in March 2008.

Malahide left-hander O'Brien seems to have paid the price for his decision not to take part in last month's National Indoors Championships.

O'Brien has a superior world ranking in both singles and doubles to Rathfarnham's King, 604 compared to 626 in individual play, and 350 as against 504 for pairs competition.


O'Brien also has a reasonable Davis Cup record, with a 3-1 and 1-2 respective win-loss return in singles and doubles.

Neither 6ft 4ins right-hander King -- who was selected as a travelling practice partner for last year's two away Davis Cup ties against Algeria and Cyprus -- nor O'Brien have yet played in a world ranking event this year.

Both are in the field for this week's ITF Futures outdoor hardcourt tournament in Murcia, Spain, but neither had participated in their first-round match prior to the Davis Cup team being announced yesterday morning.

The two Dubliners are playing together in the doubles competition.

Unlike O'Brien, King opted to participate in the National Indoors event and captured the singles title, defeating Dublin-based Georgian Lazare Kukhalashvilli in the final.

Similar to O'Brien, King spent four years on a tennis scholarship in the United States, at Indiana's famed Notre Dame University in his case. After graduating in June 2007 he spent a year working in the financial sector, but in September 2008 he opted to start playing tennis on the full-time circuit.

Significantly, King has a win over Sorensen under his belt. He was leading 5-2 in the opening set of the ITF Futures event at Fitzwilliam last July when Sorensen was forced to retire because of injury.

Irish Independent

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