There wasn’t a whole lot to cheer about for the Irish contingent in week two.
At the Australian Open, Conor Niland failed to make it three slams on the bounce when he lost to Switzerland’s Stephane Bohli in the first round of qualifiers.
The Limerick man broke his opponent in the opening game of their rain-interrupted match but handed the initiative right back before eventually succumbing 6-3 in a marathon 71 minute set.
The second set was a more routine affair for Bohli with the Swiss number four taking it 6-2 in 37 minutes.
Louk Sorensen could have joined Niland in Melbourne had he entered qualifying but instead chose to play a $10k Futures event in Schwieberdingen, Germany.
He reached the semi-finals before losing to Britain’s Josh Goodall 7-6 (12), 7-6 (3) and picks up a mere six ranking points for his troubles.
Sorensen had four set points in the first set breaker but ran into an opponent who in his own words, played off his absolute face and went on to take the title with a win against Bastian Knittel in the final.
I can only hope Goodall wasn’t drug tested afterwards but maybe being off your face means something different in England.
At the $15 Futures in Glasgow, James McGee was another victim of a two tiebreak defeat as he bowed out at the first hurdle to Clement Reix of France while former Davis Cup player George McGill player fell in the first round of qualies, two weeks shy of his 35th birthday
It was a similar story for James Cluskey in doubles as he and partner Alexandre Sidorenko (the fourth seeds) were on the wrong end of a five and six loss to Brit duo Lewis Burton and Dan Evans in the second round.
Oh well. There’s no point in peaking too early and the transition from a heavy pre-season fitness program to competitive matches is always a tricky one.
Onwards and upwards.