Former Wimbledon doubles champ Moodie set for Irish Open

WIMBLEDON doubles champion in 2005, Wesley Moodie has confirmed his participation in the Shelbourne Men’s Irish Open tennis championships next month.

Moodie will compete at Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club in the $50,000 (about €37,000) ATP Challenger event, which starts on Monday, July 2.

Moodie and his doubles partner, Australian Stephen Huss, made history at Wimbledon when they became the first pair to win the doubles title having come through the pre-tournament qualifiers. The giant South African has a career-high doubles ranking of 17.

Mischa Zverev will also return to Dublin to defend his title.

He won the ATP Futures event in Brookfield last June, the week before his victory over Denmark’s Kristian Pless in the Shelbourne Irish Open final. The German-based player has since beaten former world number one Juan-Carlos Ferrero and former Australian Open finalist Rainer Schuettler.

Zverev has improved his world ranking from 290 to a career-high 128.

The most impressive CV of all the entrants is that of another Dane, Kenneth Carlsen, who in a career spanning over a decade has garnered $3m in prize money. The attacking left-hander, a three-time winner on the main ATP tour, has overcome Goran Ivanisevic, Marcelo Rios, Michael Chang, Stefan Edberg, James Blake and one Roger Federer.

Ireland’s challenge will be spearheaded by German-based Irish number one Louk Sorensen, and Berkeley graduate Conor Niland, both of whom are full-time pros on the circuit. Sorensen is ranked 330 and Niland at 382.

Other leading Irish players hoping to compete include former national number one Peter Clarke, Davis Cup player John McGahon, and US collegiate players James Cluskey, James McGee and Colin O’Brien. Four Irish players will be offered wildcards into the main draw, and there will also be Irish interest in the qualifying competition.

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