TWO MONTHS AFTER Conor Niland fell agonisingly short of a meeting with Roger Federer at Wimbledon, the Limerick man is set for a headline match against Novak Djokovic in the first round of the US Open.
A meeting with the reigning world number one — who has only lost twice this season en route to winning nine singles titles — is Niland’s reward after he battled to a three-set victory over Matwe Mittelkoop in his final qualification match yesterday, 2-6 6-1 6-4.
It is just the second time in the 29-year-old’s career that he will compete in the main draw of a grand slam.
He will be joined there by another Irish representative, Louk Sorensen, who has been handed an equally attractive tie against the tournament’s sixth seed, Robin Soderling.
Sorensen, who returned to the court after briefly retiring from the sport earlier this summer, beat Austria’s Martin Fischer 7-6 6-1 last night to qualify.
In 2010, Sorensen became the first Irish player to win a Grand Slam match in the Open Era when he beat Lu Yen-hsun at the Australian Open.
Despite the ongoing disruption being caused in the New York area by Hurricane Irene, organisers said they are hopeful that the tournament will begin on Monday morning as scheduled.
A further update will be issued tomorrow evening.