Down native Bothwell defeats British rival to book place in Irish Open final
The national tennis title is down for decision in Carrickmines on Sunday.
DOWN’S PETER BOTHWELL will face Ryan James Storrie in the AIG Irish Open Tennis Championship men’s singles final tomorrow, after he came through an energy-sapping penultimate round encounter with Great Britain’s Joshua Paris at Carrickmines.
Although the Hillsborough native won in straight sets, he was made to work for his place in the Sunday decider by the stubborn Paris.
Both players managed to hold serve initially, before Bothwell — seeded seventh for the tournament — secured four games in succession to claim the opening set in clinical style (6-2).
However, after losing a game that was tied at deuce on no fewer than nine occasions, Bothwell fell into a 5-6 deficit in a lengthy second set.
The 22-year-old Irishman was not to denied, though, and he broke Paris’ serve to set-up a nerve-wracking tie-breaker — that he ultimately edged 7-5.
Storrie will offer a stern resistance in tomorrow’s showpiece affair, particularly in light of his gruelling three-set triumph against Stefan Seifert (6-3 6-7 6-3) in the day’s other semi-final.
Meanwhile, it was double heartbreak for Paris who — alongside compatriot Ben Jones — was defeated in a men’s doubles showdown by Luke Johnson (Great Britain) and Hugo Voljacques (France).
There was disappointment for Dubliner Julie Byrne in her women’s singles semi-final as she was defeated in straight sets (6-4 6-3) by Great Britain’s Emily Appleton.
Despite being up against the tournament’s top ranked performer in this penultimate round match, Byrne had already shown her worth in victories over seeded pair Rushri Wijesundera (seventh) and Lisa Ponomar (third).
She hadn’t dropped a set in her three previous encounters and looked set to continue this trend when she developed an early 4-2 lead.
Yet, the ice-cool Appleton won four games on the trot to move half-way towards a place in the final and remained a couple of steps ahead of the Northwestern University student in the second set.
Following a series of devastating volleys in response to Byrne’s serve, she advanced to a singles final against Great Britain team-mate Sasha Hill — a 2-0 set winner (6-3 7-6) over Alice Robbe on the opposite side of the draw.
It proved to be a mixed day for Appleton in the south Dublin venue, however, after she and Germany’s Lisa Ponomar lost out to Karola Patricia Bejenaru (Romania) and Julia Kimmelmann (Germany) in the women’s doubles final.
Women’s singles semi-finals
- Emily Appleton (GBR) beat Julie Byrne (IRL) 2-0 (6-4 6-3)
- Sasha Hill (GBR) beat Alice Robbie (FRA) 2-0 (6-3 7-6)
Women’s doubles final
- Karola Patricia Bejenaru (ROM) & Julia Kimmelmann (GER) beat Emily Appleton (ENG) & Lisa Ponomar (GER) 2-1 (6-3 2-6 7-6)
Men’s singles semi-finals
- Peter Bothwell (IRL) beat Joshua Paris (ENG) 2-0 (6-2 7-6)
- Ryan James Storrie (ENG) beat Stefan Seifert (GER) 2-1 (6-3 6-7 6-3)
Men’s doubles final
- Luke Johnson (GBR) and Hugo Voljacques (FRA) beat Ben Jones (GBR) & Joshua Paris (GBR) 2-0 (7-6 6-4)