Sunday 22 July 2018

McGee out as Irish face up to Wimbledon doubles star

 

Ireland captain Conor Niland faces a Danish side with four tournament debutants. Picture: Reuters
Ireland captain Conor Niland faces a Danish side with four tournament debutants. Picture: Reuters

Barry Lennon

Ireland must face a Danish side, featuring former Wimbledon doubles champion Frederik Nielsen, in the Davis Cup first-round without the experience of James McGee.

Team captain Conor Niland instead relies on four tournament debutants against the Danes in Copenhagen today and tomorrow as McGee (30) "assesses his options".

"I think he was considering stopping and maybe just taking a break from the game to see if he can find a bit more of a reason to keep playing," Niland says.

"I don't know if funding was an issue. He went to North Carolina State (University) but he only went for about a year. He might go back and finish his degree but we might see him back playing full-time again."

The Dubliner leads the list of absentees (Sam Barry and David O'Hare are also unavailable) who gained promotion to Group II of the competition last year.

Analysis

Niland knows the 2012 champion Nielsen from his playing days having toured with the Dane, who played alongside Australian Open winner Caroline Wozniacki.

"We've done some analysis of his game recently," Niland says. "We're obviously giving that information to the players so they can have a little bit of a head start on it.

"He's a world-class doubles player. He is beatable, though, given the right game-plan."

Co Down's Peter Bothwell (22) is the sole player with Davis Cup experience in this experimental set-up and is joined by younger brother Sam (20). Osgar O'Hoisin (21) and Julian Bradley (25) travel from America. Simon Carr (18)completes the team after reaching the last 16 of the US Junior Open last September.

Win and Ireland face the winners of Egypt v Norway in April. A defeat sees them fight the losers in a relegation battle.

Irish Independent

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