The Carrickmines Cup team of 2012 including the current Irish No.1s, Simon Carr (front right and Georgia Drummy (back centre), the 2019 Irish Open Champion.
I.Cesky from Prague won the tournament.
Conor Niland and James McGee were Ireland’s top professional players in recent times. Conor is a regular visitor to Carrickmines as a player and as a coach. He played at Wimbledon and the US Open and won the Austrian and Israel Opens. While representing Ireland against Switzerland (U16s) Conor defeated Roger Federer!
His career was cut short in his prime with a hip injury. Conor was the recipient of the 2014 Carrickmines award “Outstanding Contribution to Irish Tennis”
Conor Niland lost to Novak Djokovic at the 2011 U.S. Open when he had to retire with a bout of food poisoning. Djokovic has amassed 20 Slams so far and looks destined to be recognised in time as the greatest player ever in the men’s game!
Conor playing against Andy Murray in 2010 in London. Murray was both a two-time Wimbledon champion and gold medallist in the Olympics. He won the US Open and finished 2016 as the No.1 ranked player. Murray led Great Britain to Davis Cup success in 2015.
James McGee, also qualified for the US Open in 2014. As a youngster he was surprisingly defeated in the 2002 County Dublin Championships by Carrickmines player, Stephen Taylor on the damp grass. Taylor went on to capture the title.
Both McGee and Niland were coached on the tour by colourful maverick coach, Joe O’ Dwyer. Joe perhaps Ireland’s top touring coach also worked with TJ Middleton – Finalist of the invitational mixed doubles at Wimbledon, Alexandra Stevenson, semi-finalist Wimbledon and Julian Bradley, the Irish Open Doubles Champion.
The only other Irish men to play Grand Slams in the Open era were Matt Doyle and Sean Sorensen. Sean crossed swords with the best including Borg and McEnroe and at Wimbledon, Rod Laver. Laver is the only player to win all the slams in the same year. He did it in 1962 and again in 1969.
Sean Sorensen and Matt Doyle playing doubles.
Sean & Matt with Team Captain Ronan Fearon after a Davis Cup win in Monaco.
Californian Matt Doyle’s Irish connections were first established through his friend Sean Sorensen. Together they went on to forge Ireland’s most successful period in the professional era culminating in qualification for the World Group Davis Cup and the home tie against the John McEnroe inspired USA team.
Matt was Ireland’s highest ranked pro and played in all the slams reaching the 4th round at the US Open before losing to the holder John McEnroe.
Yvonne Doyle, two-time County Dublin Champion.
Former Fed Cup Captain, Yvonne Doyle defeated Miriam Oremans from the Netherlands in the Fed Cup. Oremans was a silver medallist in the Sydney Olympics where she lost the Doubles final to the US (Serena and Venus Williams). She was also finalist in the Wimbledon Mixed Doubles.
Yvonne also had a doubles victory (with Elsa O’Riain) over Sam Stosur from Australia, in the final of an ITF in Glasgow. Stosur was the US Open Champion in 2002 and won the Doubles titles at the U.S. French and Australian Opens.
Lesley O’Halloran a three-time County Dublin Champion. She reached the 2nd Round of the Doubles at Wimbledon in 1989.
Lesley was the driving force behind Ireland’s ITF World Championship win in the seniors in 2012. That year she was the world’s top ranked player in both singles and doubles in the 45’s category.
Some of the other top Irish players and County Dublin Champions include Karen Nugent (3 times), Gina Niland (2), Owen Casey (3) and Scott Barron who all had long successful careers in the game.
Wimbledon Champion Goran Ivanišević
In 2000 Owen Casey tested Goran Ivanišević in the Ireland v Croatia Davis Cup tie, losing in four sets at Fitzwilliam. The following year, Ivanišević staged the best comeback of all Wimbledons, becoming the only player to win the men’s singles as a wildcard. Before the tournament, he was ranked 125th in the world.
Both Barron and Casey played on Ireland’s Potter Cup team triumph in 2019.
ITF World Champions, Ireland O/45 team win the Potter Cup in 2019. Scott Barron, Alan Donnelly, Ross Niland, Stewart Doyle, (FR) Owen Casey, Garbhain O’Nuaillain and John Rendina.
Conor Niland conducting a coaching clinic in Carrickmines with juniors William Moulton and Zac Naughton on the new clay court in July 2021.