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Gusty Peter Bothwell holding his head high after Dublin exit

 

By John Flack

Peter Bothwell bowed out of the $25,000 ITF Futures 2 tournament in Dublin yesterday, losing at the quarter-final stage to the sixth seed.

The 21-year-old produced a gutsy display against American Peter Kobelt but went down 6-3 7-6 in a rain-affected match.

The players were off court for almost four hours after the heavens opened shortly after the start, with the Ulsterman trailing 4-3 in the first set.

The delay seemed to affect Bothwell more than his opponent as he promptly lost the next game on his own serve after play resumed.

The Irish Davis Cup player fought back superbly despite that setback and he had three break points at 5-3 down.

However, the man from Ohio responded with three aces to avoid the break and eventually held to take the first set.

Games went with serve in the second until Kobelt broke again to move into a 5-3 lead but, once again, Bothwell was in no mood to lie down.

Instead, he showed great tenacity to win 12 points in a row from 5-3 and 15-0 down to move into a 6-5 lead.

However, Kobelt recovered to hold serve and force a tie-break in which Bothwell quickly found himself 3-0 down and he was unable to stage another recovery as his opponent won the mini-contest 7-4 to take the match.

The result signalled sweet revenge for Kobelt, who had lost to Bothwell at a tournament in the latter's adopted home of Spain a few weeks earlier.

He said: "I was disappointed with the outcome, naturally, and the fact I wasn't able to convert some of the chances that came my way. But I was pleased with the way I managed to make it hard for him at times during the match."

Bothwell's younger brother Sam did, however, keep the family flag flying by reaching the men's doubles final.

In partnership with Australian Edward Bourchier, the 19-year-old defeated Daniel Glancy (Ireland) and Jaime Garcia (Spain) 7-6 6-3.

Meanwhile, Peter Corrie went down 6-1 6-1 to Dutch player Ryan Nijboer in the last 32 of the European Under-18 Championship in Switzerland, where he had the honour of carrying the Irish flag at the opening ceremony.

However, the result was no disgrace against an opponent ranked 51st on the junior world ladder, some 1,000 places higher than the Hilden teenager.

Corrie said: "It's been a great experience playing at this level where you simply cannot make mistakes and if you do so you will be punished."

In the Ulster Junior Open semi-finals at the Boat Club, Jordan McKeown and Jessica Leeman had some consolation for missing out at the Belfast City ITF event earlier in the week.

McKeown, who beat Kyran Maguire 6-2 6-0, will play Dundalk's Oisin Murtagh in the boys' U18 final today. Leeman, who defeated Mary Parkash 6-2 6-2 in her semi-final, will face Amy Rothwell in the corresponding girls' decider.

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