Peter Bothwell stepped up to the men's Futures tour yesterday and came up short but not before showing why he has a real chance of winning the Belfast City ITF under-18 event next week.
Bothwell was competing in the men's event at Fitzwilliam in Dublin against Britain's Richard Gabb and found himself 5-3 down in the first set but with a break point to get the match back on serve. Unfortunately he didn't convert and Gabb took the set 6-3.
In the second set 17-year-old Bothwell was clearly warming to the task and he produced some fine winners to take him into a 4-3 lead but once more a break point came and went and Gabb went on to reel off three straight games to seal victory.
Dad Nigel said: "He may have lost today but I'm very happy with where Peter's game is at and he can look forward to the Belfast ITF junior event at Windsor next week with confidence."
Across town at Donnybrook and Peter's younger brother Sam proved too hot for Dublin-based American Vuk Budic, winning 6-4 6-4. Dad Nigel added: "It's Sam's first ITF junior points which is very encouraging."
In the girls event, east Belfast teenager chalked up a comfortable first round victory over fellow Ulster player and close friend Lucy Octave, 6-1 6-0.
Bejenaru, who will be bidding to make it a hat-trick of finals at ITF events this week, will now face Megan Rogers of Great Britain after she defeated American Racquel Lyn 7-5 6-2.
Belfast teenager Laura Reid put up a brave fight but went down 6-4 6-3 to Belgium's Luna Meers.
Boat Club player Reid, who will also be playing at the Belfast City event, did well to come back from 3-0 down in the opening set but was just edged out and after going down 3-2 from 40-15 up the match seemed to slip away.
There was delight for young Dubliner Jennifer Timotin who caused an upset when she defeated number eight seed Emma Haakansson 4-6 7-6(6) 6-1.