Aug. 30, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Notre Dame men's tennis team is over in Ireland and ready for its big exhibition showdown on Friday with members of Ireland's Davis Cup team. The match, which will take place at Ireland's famed Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club, is slated for 2 p.m. (9 a.m. ET). Singles will be played first, with doubles to follow.
Fans already over in Dublin for the football game can check out both contests. Tickets to the tennis match are either $15 for general admission or $50 for a VIP ticket. The VIP ticket includes food and drink, entertainment including live Irish music and all access to the famous and historic Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club. Tickets can be purchased on the Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club website here.
The Irish Davis Cup team will present quite a challenge to the young Notre Dame squad with veterans Conor Niland, James McGee, Sam Barry and Barry King on the roster. Niland played world No. 2 Novak Djokovic at last year's U.S. Open, while McGree and Barry are both current ATP players.
King should sound familiar to Notre Dame fans, as he won 90 singles matches over his four-year career for the Irish and was named to the BIG EAST Championships doubles all-tournament team in 2005 with partner Ryan Keckley. King has also been an active member of the Irish Davis Cup squad.
The Irish will also faceoff against last year's team captain Niall Fitzgerald, who is now a graduate assistant at Tulane, but is a native of Wicklow, Ireland.
Head coach Bobby Bayliss got the idea for an exhibition contest last summer when he was over in Ireland for recruiting at the Irish Junior Championships. After talks with Jimmy McDonough, the director of tennis, and Garry Cahill, the Irish Davis Cup captain, the group put the match in place. Bayliss blogged about what all went into preparing for Ireland before he left on Wednesday. Expected to blog about the match will be one of Notre Dame's student-athletes, while associate head coach Ryan Sachire will wrap up the incredible trip next week.
Established in 1877, and often called the Wimbledon of Ireland, the Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club is one of the oldest tennis clubs in the world. More information on the tennis club can be found here.
For more information on Notre Dame men's tennis while they are over in Ireland, stay tuned to UND.com or follow the Irish on Facebook (facebook.com/NDMensTennis) or Twitter (@NDMensTennis).