To date, no Irishman had gotten beyond the first round of the US Open championship, but hope rises eternal'

'We thought we could win a match or two,' Louk Sorensen, who divides his time between Cork and Stuttgart, told the Boston Herald. Like Conor Niland, his fellow Limerick born Irish competitor, they played to win. There were good reasons.

'The money was wonderful,' Sorensen said, 'especially the way things are at home these days. Nineteen-thousand-dollars apiece! That’ll buy a lot of Guinness.'

Niland had a tough break from the get go: his opponent was only the number one player in the world, Novak Djokovic.

'It’s OK,' Niland said. 'I always wanted to play a top-10 guy. Great experience.'

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Niland met his match with Djokovic on Tuesday. It took 12 games until Niland surrendered, trailing, 6-0, 5-1.

Sorensen also battled valiantly but Da Silva pulled ahead, 6-0, 3-6, 6-4, 1-0, before Sorensen finally quit because of cramps all over his body.

'We need more practice and conditioning,’’ Sorensen told the Herald. 'Tennis isn’t big in Ireland, but we really wanted to get one match, to show we could do it.'