Davis Cup | Denmark Topple Ireland
Freddie Nielsen inspires nation to 4-1 first round victory over Irish
By Stephen Higgins | 4 February 2018
Former Wimbledon doubles champion Freddie Nielsen made the difference on Sunday afternoon in Birkerod as Denmark defeated Ireland 4-1 in Group II of the Davis Cup.
The first round loss means that Ireland will face Norway in a relegation play-off to remain in the competition’s third tier.
34-year-old Nielsen, who claimed the doubles title at the All England club in 2012, overwhelmed Pete Bothwell 6-1 6-1 in the fourth singles rubber to claim the tie for his country and a 36th singles win in the Davis Cup.
It was an exceptional day for the world no.559 in both formats as he had earlier partnered Thomas Kroman in a 6-4 6-4 triumph over Sam Bothwell and Osgar O’Hoisin.
Nielsen confirmed his position as Denmark’s talisman having contributed to three of his nation’s four points over the weekend.
While Denmark eventually ran away with the tie on Sunday, the contest was nicely poised after the first day's play.
In the first singles match, Nielsen opened his account with a 6-3 7-6 win over Simon Carr.
Ireland’s sole point came later on Saturday courtesy of Pete Bothwell.
The Hillsborough man got the better of Soren Hess-Olesen 5-7 6-1 6-3 in the tie’s second rubber to give Ireland a foothold in the tie.
Unfortunately for the men in green, the doubles loss on Sunday morning gave Nielsen the opportunity to claim the tie and he duly did.
In the remaining dead rubber that afternoon, Soren Hess-Olesen defeated Simon Carr 2-6 6-2 10-8.
Ireland always faced an uphill task in this tie as James McGee, Sam Barry and David O'Hare, the nation's top ranked players, were unavailable for selection.
Ireland's next opponent wil be Norway in a relegation play-off in April.
The Scandinavians did not pick up a point against Egypt this weekend, the Africans 4-0 victors.