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Game, set, match: Conor Niland forced to retire with hip injury

The 30-year-old hangs up his rackets after making history at Wimbledon and the US Open last summer.

Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

CONOR NILAND, IRELAND’S top-ranked tennis player, has announced his immediate retirement due to a persistent hip injury.

The 30-year-old Limerick native broke the news this afternoon after struggling with labral tears in both hips for the past nine months.

He made his final competitive appearance in Cairo last Friday when Ireland beat Egypt to avoid relegation from the Davis Cup Group II.

“Despite several cortisone injections and intensive physiotherapy during this time the condition has progressively worsened and has prevented me from training and competing at the levels required for professional tennis,” Niland said in a short statement.

I have considered the possibility of hip surgery but have been advised of a lengthy recovery time without any guarantee of a successful outcome.

I would like to thank my family, in particular my parents, for their phenomenal support throughout my tennis career. I would not have been able to achieve the things I did without them.

Niland bows out as the most successful Irish tennis player of the Open era after making history at both Wimbledon and the US Open last year.

He became the first Irishman since Sean Sorensen in 1977 to qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon only to lose in a five-set nailbiter against Adrian Mannarino, denying him a meeting against 16-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the second round at SW19.

He bounced back to qualify for the US Open at Flushing Meadows later that summer, where was handed a plum draw against world number one Novak Djokovic. The dream tie in the Rod Laver Arena ended in disappointment when a bout of food poisoning forced him to retire when trailing at the end of the second set.

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Niall Kelly

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