©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Ireland's Conor Niland makes it to Wimbledon

He’s the first Irishman to do so in over 25 years.

Updated 11.50

CONOR NILAND HAS become the first Irishman in over 25 years to qualify for the main stages of the Wimbledon tennis championships which begin next week.

Niland and his opponent Nikola Mektic had to contend with not one, not two but three suspended plays because of the rain at the Roehampton club.

The Irish hopeful eventually saw off the Croation in straight sets 6-3, 7-6, 6-4. He had been at match point four times in the second-last game before eventually seeing off his opponent.

His endeavours mean he has become the first Irishman to qualify for the tournament proper at Wimbledon since Matt Doyle in 1984.

Niland’s opponent in his historic first men’s singles match will be Adrian Mannarino of France, a 22-year-old ranked 53rd in the world. Should he progress, Niland would most likely face six-time Wimbledon Champion Roger Federer in the second round.

Dublin-based Vitalia Diatchenko will face 25th seed Daniela Hantuchova in the first round of the ladies’ singles.

– Additional reporting by Niall Kelly

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