Limerick tennis professional Sam Barry is set to take to the court for in the new AIG Irish Open Tennis Championships which returns to Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club in Dublin from July 22nd to 29th.
The Ennis Road native was most recently in France playing an ITF doubles event, where he and American Peter Kobelt lost out in the final.
The event forms part of the ITF’s Futures series, the men’s event has been played at Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for many years and is the world’s second oldest tournament having first been played in 1879 just two years after the Wimbledon Championships began.
Previous winners include 7-time Wimbledon champion William Renshaw, Australian great Rod Laver, 1967 US Open champion Tony Roche and Ireland’s own James McGee who won the event in 2011.
Barry is looking forward to taking part in the prestigious event, even though it isn’t as high profile as it used to be.
“A lot of the all-time greats used to play in the tournament at Fitzwilliam, Björn Borg and Ilie N?stase and a few other big names in years gone by. They didn’t have it last year but they’re holding it again this year.
“It’s not as high profile as it used to be back in the day but I’m looking forward to coming home and competing in a club that I’m familiar with, Fitzwilliam have been really good to me over the years.”
Before the Limerick man competes at Fitzwilliam he will compete in an ITF Pro Circuit Futures event in Carrickmines.
Carrickmines CLTC is well accustomed to facilitating large Tennis events and hosts Junior and Senior Open tournaments every summer but this will be their first time playing host to the ITF Pro Circuit.
The tournament will take place this week so it will essentially serve as a warm up event for the Irish Open for Barry, he says getting the opportunity to make it home for a few weeks was something he couldn’t turn down.
“I wasn’t going to pass up any opportunity of being able to spend a couple of weeks at home with my girlfriend and my family and be able to be at work as well. When I heard the two tournaments were being held in Dublin I jumped at the opportunity.’