/ Tennis

Niland qualifies for Wimbledon

Updated: Saturday, 18 Jun 2011 21:56

Conor Niland - Has booked his place in the opening round at Wimbledon
Conor Niland - Has booked his place in the opening round at Wimbledon

Ireland will have a player in the Men's Singles Championships at Wimbledon after Conor Niland finally came through the qualifying tournament this afternoon at Roehampton in London.

The Limerickman beat Nikola Mektic from Croatia in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6, 6-4, to deservedly earn his place in the main draw at Wimbledon which commences on Monday.

As the qualification tournament was delayed due to rain, Niland’s opponent in his historic first match at Wimbledon will not be known until later today.

Niland becomes the first Irishman to play in the Wimbledon Men’s Championships since Matt Doyle competed at the 1984 Championships.

Meanwhile, Irish-based Russian Vitalia Diatchenko came through a tough match today with 23rd seed Stephanie Dubois of Canada to make the first round proper of the Women's Championship at Wimbledon.

On a scoreline of 6-3, 6-2 the Muscovite (coached by Irish Davis Cup Captain Garry Cahill) will now play in the main draw of a Grand Slam for the second time, having won a round at the 2009 French Open.

Diatchenko, 20, will also play doubles next week and has shown the benefits of her preparation in Ireland for the grass court event.

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