Sorensen ends 30-year Irish Slam drought

MELBOURNE, Jan 19, 2010 (AFP) - Qualifier Louk Sorensen became the first Irishman to compete in Grand Slam singles for 30 years on Tuesday, winning his opening round match at the Australian Open.

Sorensen, 25, defeated Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 on an outside court.

Tennis runs in the family with his father, Sean, the last Irishman to play in a Grand Slam singles at the 1980 Wimbledon. His dad lost to Australian tennis legend Rod Laver in the first round at Wimbledon in 1977.

"I'm feeling great, it's the biggest achievement of my career so far, but let's see how it goes in the next round," Sorensen said.

The diminutive Irishman now takes on American serving giant John Isner.

"Anything that happens now and I win will be a bonus," he said.

Sorensen, ranked 284 in the world, booked his place in the main draw when he downed New Zealander Daniel King-Turner in two sets during qualifying last Saturday.

He said the qualifying matches had given him an advantage playing Lu first up.

"I am used to the courts and the surface now and if you get through qualifying it's an advantage, but now after the first round everyone's got their playing rhythm sorted out," he said.

Sorensen lives and is coached in Stuttgart, Germany, and only goes to Ireland to visit his parents in Dublin.

Source: AFP

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