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Rained Off

Frustration for Niland as rain halts Wimbledon qualifiers

Niland and Diatchenko’s third-round qualifiers now scheduled to begin tomorrow morning.

WHEN YOU’VE BEEN waiting 34 years to have an Irish representative in the men’s singles draw at Wimbledon, what’s another couple of hours?

Conor Niland’s dream of becoming the first Irish man to appear at SW19 since Sean Sorensen in 1977 has been put on hold until tomorrow after persistent rainfall prevented his third-round qualifier against Nikola Mektic from taking place as planned this afternoon.

With the start of play delayed for over four hours due to the inclement weather,  this afternoon’s action at the Roehampton Club got underway shortly after 3.30pm. Less than five minutes later, however, the skies had opened again, forcing the players to retreat and seek shelter.

The rain did eventually let up for a brief period, allowing an hour’s play to be completed, but shortly after 6pm officials were forced to postpone the remainder of the action until tomorrow morning when play is due to resume at 10.30am.

Niland’s match against his Croatian opponent is scheduled to be the second game on Court C following the conclusion of the Ladies’ Qualifier between Nina Bratchikova and Aleksandra Wozniack.

Dublin-based Vitalia Diatchenko will also have to wait until the morning to begin her own qualifier against the seeded Canadian Stephanie Dubois, which is currently pencilled in as the second game on Court B.

As a result of today’s delays, both players will now know the identity of their potential opponents in the main draw before they take to the court tomorrow, with the pairings for the first round proper due to be announced at 10am as planned.