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Rain Man

Rain spoils Niland's day - again

Conor Niland managed just six games of his third-round qualifier against Nikola Mektic before rain stopped play for the day.

UNSHAKABLE RAIN IN south-west London has forced the abandonment of the Wimbledon qualifiers for a second successive day, leaving Irish hopeful Conor Niland facing another frustrating delay as he attempts to book his place in the first round of the tournament proper.

Earlier today, the pairings for the opening round of men’s singles were announced, with household names such as Juan Martin Del Potro, Andy Roddick, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gilles Simon, Juan Ignacio Chela and Nikolai Davydenko among those whom the Limerick man could be drawn against if he overcomes Croatian Nikola Mektic in his final qualifier.

Niland took to Roehampton’s Court C shortly before 11.30am this morning, getting off to the best possible start with a break of Mektic’s serve in the first game of the match. The return of the rain forced play to be abandoned shortly thereafter, however, with the Croatian on serve at 2-4 in the first set.

Officials had hoped to squeeze the remainder of play in this afternoon but were forced to defer the action until tomorrow morning in light of the forecast for further rain.

Dublin-based Vitalia Diatchenko is yet to begin her final qualifier against the seeded Canadian Stephanie Dubois.

Her potential first-round opponents include Marion Bartoli, Elena Baltacha, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Daniela Hantuchova and Petra Kvitova.

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