TENNIS: Singles take centre stage in Belfast City ITF event

Lucy Octave is among the girls competing in the singles competition today
Lucy Octave is among the girls competing in the singles competition today

The action hots up on Monday at the Belfast City ITF tournament with the first round proper in both the girls and boys singles events.

Ulster failed to produce a qualifier as all the province’s representatives crashed out at either the first or second hurdle but several locals will be playing in the main draw today.

Lucy Octave, Laura Reid, Emily Beatty along with the McCullough sisters, Annie and Caitlin, are in the girls draw.

Sam Bothwell and Matthew McClurg will carry local hopes in the boys event having also been handed direct entries.

On Sunday, Enniskillen’s Sarah Cousins fell in the second round qualifying as she went down 6-4, 6-1 to great Britain’s Summer Yardley.

On Saturday there was only one Ulster winner in qualifying as Jakob Robb overcame Enniskillen’s Ronan McKeever 6-3, 6-7, 7-5.

That earned him a second round clash with fifth seeded qualifier, Germany’s Sebastian Grau but, he bowed out on a 6-2, 6-4 score line.

It was a gutsy performance from the Windsor player against a more experienced opponent so he will take heart from his display.

That apart it was a story of first round exits for the locals in qualifying as David Weir and Ardghal McMahon were eliminated.

Weir went down to Grau 6-2, 6-4 while McMahon lost 6-4, 6-2 to British player Cameron Price.

Visiting players from the Republic of Ireland were more successful with no fewer that three out of four who made second round qualifying progressing to the first round proper.

Janine Laabei beat Maria Savu, of Romania 6-2, 6-1 while Laura Fitzgerald defeated Annabela Betea (Romania) 6-1, 6-2 and Rachael Collins had a 6-1, 6-2 win over Norway’s Alisa Deen.

Monday’s first round matches starts at 9am and the order of play can be seen on the Windsor club website.

Belfast City ITF junior tournament - qualifying first round (selected results):

Boys: Jakob Robb bt Ronan McKeever 6-3, 6-7, 7-5; Sebastian Grau (Ger) bt David Weir 6-2, 6-4; Cameron Price (GBR) bt Ardghal McMahon 6-4, 6-2; second round: Grau bt Robb 6-2, 6-4; third round: Reuben Henry (GBR) bt Grau 6-1,6-4; Lucas Percy (GBR) bt Carl Bedrot (Swe) 6-3, 6-4; Linus Bergevi (Swe) bt Daniel Ferl (Ger) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3; Ryan Gaskin (GBR) bt Linus Kron (Ger) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.

Girls: first round qualifying: Annabela Betea (Rom) bt Laura Griffin 4-6, 6-4, 6-2; second round: Summer Yardley (GBR) bt Sarah Cousins 6-4, 6-1; Janine Laabei bt Maria Savu (Rom) 6-2, 6-1; Laura Fitzgerald bt Betea 6-1, 6-2; Rachael Collins bt Alisa Deen (Nor) 6-1, 6-2.