Ireland facing Davis Cup relegation after double defeat

James McGee and Sam Barry both lose their singles matches against South Africa

Sam Barry was beaten in four sets by Tucker Vorster as South Africa took a 2-0 lead in their Davis Cup Group- Three tie. Photograph: Inpho

Sam Barry was beaten in four sets by Tucker Vorster as South Africa took a 2-0 lead in their Davis Cup Group- Three tie. Photograph: Inpho

 

Ireland lost both of their Europe Zone Group Three singles tennis matches on Friday leaving them staring down the barrel of Davis Cup relegation.

Both Irish number one James McGee and number two Sam Barry were beaten by South Africa’s Fritz Wolmerans and Tucker Vorster respectively, meaning Conor Niland’s team need to win their remaining three games to avoid dropping out of Group Three for the first time since 2007.

McGee, who is ranked 150th in the world, lost the first set against Wolmerans on a tie break and then took the second set with ease, before South Africa’s number two bounced back to seal a 7-6 (7-0), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory.

Despite being without big serving Kevin Anderson, who took eventual winner Novak Djokovic to five sets at Wimbledon, South Africa then moved into a 2-0 lead after Vorster dispatched Barry 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6, 6-4.

Ireland must now win Saturday’s doubles matches and Sunday’s reverse singles if they want to stay in Group Three.

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