Conor Niland after his first round defeat at Wimbledon 2011 ©INPHO/Getty Images
Down under and out

Niland's Australian hope dashed at first hurdle

Ireland’s top ranked tennis player has missed out on qualifying for first Grand Slam event of 2012.

CONOR NILAND CAME up short in his bid to qualify for a third consecutive Grand Slam event after defeat to Switzerland’s Stephane Bohli.

Niland reached the first round proper at both Wimbledon and the US Open last year, but last night Bohli (ranked 68 places above him) proved too stern a test and the Swiss strode to a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 victory in their first round qualifier for the prestigious Melbourne event.

The unforced error count from Niland, ranked 286 the world, did not help his cause any as he totalled eight double faults with no aces compared to Bohli’s three.

Bohli will go on to face the USA’s Tim Smyczek in the second phase of qualifying.

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