Promis­ing week for up and com­ing Irish trio

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Sport - JOHNNY WAT­TER­SON

With two Irish play­ers Sam Barry and Si­mon Carr mak­ing the semi-fi­nals of the men’s Fu­tures event, and Irish num­ber one Sinead Lo­han the fi­nal at the AIG Irish Open at Fitzwilliam, it was a promis­ing week for Irish ten­nis.

Lo­han, cur­rently at col­lege in the Univer­sity of Mi­ami, went into her fi­nal with Jodie Bur­rage suf­fer­ing from a stom­ach prob­lem that had been with her f or some weeks.

The in­jury ham­pered her serv­ing but with Bur­rage also com­plain­ing about an in­jured wrist that she hurt when she fell ear­lier in the week, the English teenager’s 7-5 (4), 6-4 win came af­ter ser­vice games on both sides through­out the match were handed over at will.

How­ever, Lo­han won in Por­tu­gal at a Fu­tures event last month and has made a quar­ter-fi­nal in Spain since then. The stu­dent will now rest be­fore re­turn­ing to the US on Au­gust 17th. The col­lege stint of the Tramore 22-year-old ends next year when her plans are to play more tour­na­ment ten­nis.

In the end it was the power of Bur­rage that won her the game. Her fore­hand and serve were big, although in­con­sis­tent and she could have made the match shorter had she put away some sim­ple open court shots.

Hand over her serve

Ranked at 909 Lo­han hung in and when she lost to love for 5-3 in the first set to hand over her serve for the sec­ond time, it seemed than Bur­rage would tidy up.

But Lo­han made the most of her op­po­nent’s nerves and bravely fought back, broke Bur­rage and found her­self serv­ing for the set at 6-5.

How­ever, the Irish woman couldn’t close it out, a back­hand re­turn find­ing the net for 6-6 send­ing the match into a tiebreak.

When Bur­rage then sped to a 5-1 lead in the tie-break there was no way back with the 18-year-old from Lon­don tak­ing the set 7-5 (4).

Although Bur­rage was knock­ing down some aces, the sec­ond set was again a serv­ing quick­sand. Lo­han held ser­vice in the first game but the next four games all went against the server, Lo­han then drop­ping serve in the sixth game for 3-4.

Bur­rage fi­nally found some con­sis­tency and served out the match at 5-4, Lo­han’s fore­hand re­turn find­ing the next on match point.

In the men’s de­cider, also on Sat­ur­day, Switzer­land’s Adrien Bos­sel bat­tled back from a set down to beat Amer­i­can Peter Ko­belt. Un­like at Wim­ble­don tiebreaks are per­mit­ted in the fi­nal set, and Bos­sel won that shootout 3-6, 6-4, 7-6.

Sinead Lo­han: suf­fered from stom­ach in­jury in Sat­ur­day’s fi­nal

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