Friday, 29 January 2010

It's Murray Time

Andy Murray will face Roger Federer in Sunday's Australian Open final. The match-up is a repeat of the 2008 US Open final, Murray's only previous grand-slam final appearance, which Federer won in straight sets.

The match will be Federer's eighth successive grand slam final, the 18th of the last 19, and the 22nd of his career.

Murray has a winning record against Federer, with victories in six of their 10 meetings, Federer, however, has won their last two matches.

Murray has been having a great tournament and is buzzing. It might just be his time.


Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Sorensen wins Australian Open first round match

Louk Sorensen, world #284, claimed the first Irish grand slam win in the open era, beating Chinese-Taipei’s 101-ranked Yen-Hsun Lu 6-4 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 at the Australian Open overnight. Lu defeated Argentina’s former Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian in last year’s Australian Open.

Matt Doyle reached the last 16 of the US Open in 1982, he was American-born and though he played Davis Cup for Ireland, he played the grand-slam events under an American flag.

Sorensen says "My father is 100% Irish and my mother is 50% German and 50% Austrian." - the name is Norwegian. His parents live in Dublin and he grew up in Germany. He lives in Stuttgart, training and playing in the German tennis league's (Bundesliga) third division, which earns him enough money to travel around the Challenger Tour.


Monday, 18 January 2010

Irish male qualified for Grand slam

Louk Sorensen, 25, qualified for the first round of the upcoming Australian Open. He is the first Irish person to qualify for a grand slam tennis tournament since Matt Doyle in 1985.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Last competitive full house for Jimmy?

Early January means the Masters at Wembley and not being a train ride away is something I really miss about not living in London anymore.

Jimmy White, 47, now ranked 56th, played the Masters on Sunday as a wild card invite, to a a packed house of 1,368. He lost 6-2 to the world No16, Mark King.


Sunday, 10 January 2010

Déjà Vu

So much for once-in-a-lifetime. You know the drill by now - the snow dumps on the Dublin Mountains, and I have an insatiable urge to hike up there and come down strapped into a snowboard. This time I had Ken & Andy for company - they didn't need any persuasion. The road from home to Kilmashogue Lane was clear, so less hiking to start off. Also less snow and easier to walk up, so we got higher - "Fairy Castle" / Two Rock was the destination - about 550m. Lots of hikers around, one lunatic on a bike, and plenty of curious looks. The views down to Wicklow were amazing - Djouce, Maulin, Kippure all shining white in the distance. Great Sugar Loaf looked like the Matterhorn.

Very cold & blowy up top. Coffee, and a nip of Jameson from Ken's hip flask was timely. We came down from here in fresh powder, so good we hiked up and did it twice more. Heavenly. Then onto a very narrow, windy part - concentration was high here, but good fun. Andy & I were troubled by a snappy poodle who'd not seen this mode of transport before. Next up, a nice long, easy forest track (piste?) to get to the bottom. Fast and fun. Plenty of comments and photos from onlookers/spectators - hopefully starting a trend.

Finally, we trespassed onto Stackstown Golf Club (Padraig Harrington's home turf) which was just begging to be ridden, a real novelty. Back up the forest and we were able to ride back literally to the car. Home for some tea and the last of the Xmas cake, yummmm. How am I supposed to work tomorrow after a day like that?

P.S. To be honest, I was getting a bit tired of the endless cold and snow in the last few days. But now as a bit of a thaw sets in, I think I'll miss it when it's gone. The snow forecast for today didn't materialise, so that might be it. Hope you're all surviving the conditions wherever you are.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Who can match O’Driscoll in the noughties?

Brian O’Driscoll was named by Rugby World magazine as the player of the noughties and on their team of the decade.

Hard to disagree with this choice after O’Driscoll's consistency over the decade even though he never won the IRB player of the year. The consensus in the rugby world seems to be that O’Driscoll's only other contender would be Richie McCaw, who won the IRB award twice in the decade.

Least us not forget that Keith Wood was named the inaugural IRB player of the year in 2001.

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