HomeTennisDominic Thiem named on Austrian Davis Cup team to play against Ireland

Dominic Thiem named on Austrian Davis Cup team to play against Ireland


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Former Grand Slam winner Dominic Thiem has been named on the Austrian Davis Cup team that will play this weekend against Ireland in Limerick.

The 30-year-old is one of a long line of tennis stars that have come to play for their country on these shores over the decades, going back to John McEnroe in the 1980s.

Wimbledon 2001 champion Goran Ivanisevic also represented Croatia in Dublin, a year before he was given a wild-card entry and beat Australian Pat Rafter in five sets to win the title on Centre Court.

Ivanisevic, like Thiem, also gained a career world ranking high of three and has one career Grand Slam win.

Thiem’s big win came at the US Open in New York in 2020, where he came back from two sets down to defeat Alexander Zverev. He also played on the final day of the French Open in 2018 and 2019, but lost both times to the record winner in Paris, Rafa Nadal. The Austrian also made the Australian Open final in 2020, going down in five sets to Novak Djokovic.

A wrist injury saw his ranking plummet and he is currently 90th in the world, so Thiem, although the most experienced, is not the highest ranked player in the tie. That belongs to 27-year-old Sebastian Ofner, who made it to the fourth round of the French Open last year but fell in the first round on his debut in the Australian Open last month. He is ranked 40th in the world.

The Irish team of Osgar O’hOisin, Michael Agwi, Conor Gannon, David O’Hare and Simon Carr, who has returned from injury, face a challenging weekend, although Davis Cup matches can sometimes upend favourites, especially in away ties.

The venue at University of Limerick has been sold out, not least of all because the non-playing Irish captain Conor Niland is from the city. He attended Crescent College in Dooradoyle before embarking on a tennis career that took him to Wimbledon, the US Open and a ranking high of 129th in the world in 2010.

At stake in Limerick for the 3,000 sell-out event is a place in World Group I, the second tier of the international men’s team competition.

For the Irish players, the home tie will be a novelty as the team has not played a Davis Cup match in Ireland since a depleted side faced Belarus at Castleknock in 2015. Tour players James McGee and Louk Sorensen were unavailable that time out with 33-year-old David O’Hare, a doubles specialist and successful coach, the only player from the current crop that was involved nine years ago.

Ireland has successfully progressed from World Group III into World Group II and got through to the World Group I playoffs with wins over Georgia, Barbados and most recently El Salvador.

The matches will be played on Saturday and Sunday with two singles on the opening day and then a doubles and two further singles played on Sunday.

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