Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Ireland’s Agwi set for Davis Cup battle with Thiem

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Ireland’s Michael Agwi will take on Austria’s former US Open champion Dominic Thiem in the first singles match of the Davis Cup on Saturday.

The highly anticipated showdown takes place at a sold-out UL Arena in Limerick. It’s the first home tie for Ireland since 2015 and is just over 40 years on from the only occasion when Ireland played in the top tier of the competition.

They took on John McEnroe’s USA in a relegation play-off at the RDS back in September 1983.

The winner of this tie will qualify for World Group I, the second tier of the Davis Cup.

Agwi, ranked 935th in the world, will look to set the tone for Ireland with what would be a spectacular upset against Thiem, while in the second singles match Osgar O’Hoisin (world number 1015) is also really up against it as he faces the world number 40 Sebastien Ofner.

Sunday opens with the doubles – David O’Hare and Conor Gannon are up for Ireland – followed by the reverse singles.

Ireland captain Conor Niland is hoping that a raucous home crowd can give his team a crucial lift.

“Our ranking isn’t as high as the Austrian team but two and a half thousand people here hopefully giving a lot of noise and a lot of support will hopefully help us to put on a good performance,” he said.

“Ultimately it’s about showcasing Irish tennis and how good we are and how good an event this can be. So we’re really excited.”

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