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Grand prize will attract top talent to Hillsborough

By John Flack

Hillsborough is to host a major new tennis tournament in June which will have the richest prize-fund on the local calendar.

The inaugural County Down Championship will run from Monday June 13 to Saturday June 18 at the Downshire club and other courts in the vicinity.

The men's singles winner will pocket £1,000 with generous prizes for successful players in the other events, making the competition an attractive prospect.

It's several years since such a purse was on offer and tournaments like the Ulster Championship, staged annually at the Boat Club in Belfast, used to play host to the top players from Northern Ireland and further afield.

In a deliberate switch from its normal early June slot, the tournament at the Stranmillis venue will now be held the week after the County Down championship.

"The hope is that some visiting players who come to Downshire will stay and compete at the Boat Club," said County Down tournament director Ross McCarey.

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