Saturday 24 February 2018

Tennis: Lithuanian teen star Grigelis lays down Irish marker ahead of Davis Cup tie

Paddy Hickey

LITHUANIAN teenager Laurynas Grigelis has sent an ominous warning that his country will be no pushover when they face Ireland in their second-round Davis Cup tie in Dublin from July 9-11.

Earlier this month, 18-year-old Grigelis provided major evidence of his ability when defeating Daniel Evans in the tie-deciding fifth rubber in the first-round contest against Great Britain in Vilnius.

And on Monday, 518-ranked Grigelis scored an emphatic victory over Ireland's 500-ranked James McGee in the last round of qualifying in the ATP Challenger Tour event in Jersey.

Castleknock man McGee came badly unstuck against Grigelis, exiting from the tournament on a 2-6 2-6 scoreline.

National No 1 Louk Sorensen is almost certain to have recovered from the hamstring injury which sidelined him for the Turkey tie to feature against the Lithuanians, and thus ensure that McGee is confined to court action in the doubles match.


But Grigelis is still likely to provide both Sorensen and Conor Niland with a stiff challenge in the individual battles.

In the women's equivalent of the Davis Cup -- the Fed Cup -- Ireland have received a major boost to their promotion prospects for next month's competition in Egypt.

Fed Cup team boss Garry Cahill has succeeded in persuading Australian-born Julia Moriarty to throw in her lot with this country in the 10-nation Europe-Africa Zone Group Three event in Cairo from April 19-24.

Moriarty (21) plays on the full-time circuit, and she holds a current singles world ranking of 695. The Adelaide-born right-hander qualifies to represent this country through her parents, who both hail from Co Kerry.

Meanwhile, John Morrissey and Sam Barry provided Irish tennis with a further shot in the arm by reaching the boys' doubles final in the ITF U-18 Grade One event in Kuching, Malaysia -- on opposite sides.

Dubliner Morrissey shattered Limerick native Barry's hopes of a second world ranking doubles title in the space of just two weeks, by partnering Australia's Ben Wagland to a 7-5 5-7 10-7 (champions' tie-break) victory over Barry and New Zealand's Ben McLachlan.

Irish Independent

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