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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 7 April, 2020

Sick to his stomach: Niland laments missed opportunity against Djokovic

Irish ace was cruelly forced to retire ill due to a case of food poisoning on the biggest day of his career yestersday.

Conor Niland: under the weather.
Conor Niland: under the weather.
Image: Mehdi Taamallah/PA Wire/Press Association Images

WORLD NUMBER ONE Novak Djokovic dropped only one game in his first-round match at this year’s US Open as Conor Niland’s big day on Arthur Ashe Stadium turned into a nightmare.

The Limerick man was rewarded for coming through three tough rounds of qualifying with the glamour draw but he was forced to retire trailing 6-0 5-1 through illness last night.

Niland explained afterwards that he had been suffering with food poisoning since Sunday night, saying it was either ’pork or a salad’ he had eaten at an unnamed New York restaurant.

He told reporter Brian Laws afterwards: “I woke up Monday, basically I had food poisoning. So for the past two days and I’ve been very ill.

“Today after my practice I was ill again, just feeling prett rotten really over the past two days either so I just had an impossible task really. The doctor told me if I couldn’t keep my fluids down he was going to call it on my behalf. It didn’t get to that – it was something I wanted to do obviously. I thought if there was a miracle I might do okay.

“But you cant go out there and feel like that, I just had nothing. I wasn’t able to eat either over the past few days so I just had nothing in my legs energy-wise, so it was just, you know, an impossible task out there really.

He added in the press room: “When I heard (the draw) on Saturday, I was like, ‘That’s it now, I’ve qualified and I get to do that’. It was unbelievable. And then I get this random bout of food poisoning.”

Niland you’ll remember come through qualifying at Wimbledon and led Adrian Mannarino 4-1 in the fifth set with the winner to play Roger Federer in round two before letting it slip away.

Ireland have a second representative in the men’s competition at Flushing Meadows this year however; Louk Sorensen takes on sixth seed Robin Soderling at 4pm-ish.

As it happened: Novak Djokovic v Conor Niland

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