Przemek Stec still the man to beat at Ulster Championship

Karl Donaldson
Karl Donaldson

Top seed Przemek Stec easily disposed of qualifier Michael Blease as he got his Keys Finance Ulster Championship bid under way at the Boat Club on Wednesday night.

The Windsor player beat the CIYMS player 6-0, 6-3 in a match lasting under 40 minutes.

The Pole, who lives and coaches tennis at the south Belfast club, has won the title on three previous occasions and is a hot favourite to make it four later this week.

He won the trophy three times in a row between 2010 and 2012 and didn’t defend his title last year.

Stec will now meet eighth seeded Donaghadee player Stephen McCausland in the quarter finals.

McCausland overcame Ballynahinch teenager Peter Corrie 6-3, 6-2 after coming from 1-3 down in the first set against his 14 tear-old opponent.

The Co Down man has never played Stec before but will have his work cut out if he is to upset the odds and the seedings.

Karl Donaldson set up a meeting with Tony Davison by beating David Weir 6-3, 6-4 while Davison had a 7-5, 6-1 win over Paul Calvert.

In the bottom half of the draw veteran Jimmy Wilson lost 6-1, 6-2 to last year’s runner up Aaron Stubbs, who will now meet either David Liggett or Hans Henrik Enoksen.

Second seed Alex Watt is expected to overcome Enniskillen’s Matthew McGann and if so he will meet Matthew McClurg.

McClurg defeated one of the qualifiers, Boat Club’s Ross McCarey 6-2, 6-2 to progress.

The men’s singles continues with the quarter finals tonight which get under way at 5.30pm.

Thursday night also sees final qualifying for the ladies singles with Lydia Kelly taking on Fiona Ludlow and Christine Duncan facing Emma Dornan.

The winners of those ties will have the daunting task of playing second seed Lucy Octave and title holder and top ranked Karola Bejenaru, respectively, in Friday’s last four ties.

Results: Men’s singles championship first round: Stephen McCausland bt Peter Corrie 6-3, 6-2; Karl Donaldson bt David Weir 6-3, 6-4; Tony Davison bt Paul Calvert 7-5, 6-1; Aaron Stubbs bt Jimmy Wilson 6-1, 6-2; Przemek Stec bt Michael Blease 6-0, 6-3; Matthew McClurg bt Ross McCarey 6-2, 6-2.

Men’s singles B: Lawrence McMahon bt James Spencer 6-2, 6-0; Stephen Johnston bt Josh Chambers 6-4, 6-1; Paul McCrum bt Michael Anderson 6-3, 7-5; Stephen McDowell bt Jack Hudson 6-2, 6-2; Matthew McMullan bt Clive Clive Funston 6-4, 6-4; David Frazer bt Samuel Knox 6-1, 6-2.

Men’s singles C: Mark Wilson bt Edwin Johnston 6-2, 6-3; Russell Proctor bt Andrew Greene 6-0, 6-1; Jonathan Quinn bt Mark Sweeney 6-4, 6-2.

Men’s championship doubles: Alex Watt & Gordon Watt bt Michael Blease & Sumeet Kapur 6-2, 6-1

Ladies singles B; Lauren Stead bt Zara Morgan 6-0, 6-1

Ladies doubles B: Ailbhe Atkinson & Betsy Campione bt Geraldine Fredlander & Maggie McKenna 6-4, 6-3.

Mixed doubles B: Justin Gilmore and Lisa Gilmore bt Colin McGuigan & Joanne Corrigan 6-1, 6-0