Cluskey and King turn on the style

THE form book meant nothing as Dublin duo James Cluskey and Barry King turned on the style on the second day of the Green Property Irish Men’s Open at the Fitzwilliam Club.

The Davis Cup teammates both recorded victories yesterday overopponents possessing significantly higher ranking positions to nail down second-round places in the only adult world-ranking event held in this country in 2011.

Swords man Cluskey now focuses largely on doubles competition, and at 360 in the ATP world list, he is currently the top-ranked doubles player in this country.

As well, he represented Ireland in pairs action in the recent Davis Cup relegation play-off win over Tunisia, and along with international teammate James McGee is the top seed in the doubles competition in the only adult world-ranking event held this year in Ireland.

But the 6ft 5ins right-hander showed that he is still no slouch in the singles arena when he stormed back from losing the first set to record a 3-6 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (7/0) victory over France’s Simon Cauvard, who has a singles world ranking of 605 compared to the Irish player’s mark of 1,805.

In the wake of his tie-deciding singles win in the Davis Cup clash against Tunisia, King carried that level of outstanding form into his opening match in the Irish Open.

Facing a world ranking deficit of 591 places — 1,061 to 470, King was a rank outsider against South Africa’s No 6 seed, Ruan Roelofse.

But the Davis Cup hero defied the odds in stunning style, pulling off a 6-2 4-6 6-3 victory.

King’s victory sets up an intriguing second-round contest against Greystones’ 18-year-old Ciaran Fitzgerald who surprised Britain’s Keelan Oakley 1-6 6-4 6-2 on Monday.

Another Irish success was recorded by Limerick teenager Sam Barry who saw off the challenge of Sweden’s Stefan Borg — no relation of former world No 1 Bjorn Borg — on a 6-2 6-4 margin.

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