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Lucy Octave makes all right noises in comeback win

By John Flack

Lucy Octave will be the sole Ulster survivor in the girls singles event at the ITF Junior tournament at Windsor after staging a sensational comeback to dismiss the third seed in the first round.

The Donaghadee girl defeated Austria's Lisa Friess 2-6, 7-5, 6-0 to chalk up her first world ranking points in a singles event.

Lucy looked to be on her way out of the tournament when she trailed 4-5 in the second set and had to hold her serve to stay in the match.

Amazingly she reeled off the next nine games in a row with some stunning shots to leave her opponent shell-shocked.

Afterwards Octave revealed how she had done her homework on Friess when reduced to the role of spectator at the ITF tournament in Donnybrook last week, after she made a first round exit.

"I watched one of her matches and although I had no idea I would play her at Windsor I noticed a few weaknesses that I tried to exploit and fortunately I succeeded," said the Regent House student.

"I am absolutely delighted to have got the win, although I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive when I learned that I would be playing the third seed.

"I knew that with the sort of support I would get playing in Belfast I was in with a chance, so it's just great to have taken a step onto the ladder in singles."

Octave will now meet Great Britain's Alice Gillan in the last 16 today after she defeated Ireland's Ruth Copas 6-4, 6-3.

"I have played against her before and the matches have always been quite close so, hopefully I can play well again and maybe get through another round," she added.

"You can't afford to look too far ahead so it's strictly a case of one match at a time at this stage."

Unfortunately Octave's win was the only one recorded by an Ulster player yesterday as the other four made their exit.

Georgia Drummy demonstrated just why she is regarded as the rising star of Irish tennis when she dismantled Laura Reid 6-2, 6-0.

The 14-year-old from Blackrock in Co Dublin has been ranked as high as 23rd in Europe and she revealed that her success is down, at least partly, to hard work.

"I train five days a week at DCU (Dublin City University) for three-and-a-half hours a day before and after school and one day I would like to win a Grand Slam." she said.

"I was happy with my performance against Laura and I was able to capitalise on any mistakes that she made.

"I made a few unforced errors of my own at certain times so there are areas I need to improve upon, but it's good to have got off to a winning start."

Meanwhile Annie McCullough went down 6-0, 6-3 to third seed Ellie Rose Griffiths while her twin sister Caitlin lost 6-2, 6-2 to Ireland's Lauren Deegan.

Emily Beatty was beaten 6-1, 6-2 by Lithuania's Marija Povilionyte, which now leaves Octave to fly the flag for the host province alone.

Belfast City ITF Junior tournament results: (Irish unless stated):Girls singles first round: Aoife Tonna-Barthet bt Mia Smith (GBR) 6-1, 6-2; Katarzna Kubicz (Pol) bt Aoife Leonard 6-4, 7-5; M Montgomerie (GBR) bt bt Janine Laabei 6-4, 6-1; Timea Pavlickova (Svk) bt Aisling O'Riordan6-2, 6-1; Ellie Rose Griffiths (GBR) bt Annie McCullough 6-0, 6-3; Marija Povilionyte (LTU) bt Emily Beattie 6-1, 6-2; Chelsea May Samways (GBR) bt Eimear Maher 6-3, 4-6, 6-3; Lauren Deegan bt Caitlin McCullough 6-2, 6-2; Sophie Drakeford- Lewis (GBR) bt Laura Fitzgerald 6-4, 6-3; Georgia Drummy bt Laura Reid 6-2, 6-0; Alice Gillan (GBR) bt Ruth Copas 6-4, 6-3; Lucy Octave bt Lisa Friess (AUT) 2-6, 7-5, 6-0; Jennifer Timotin bt Elizabeth Pam (NGR) 7-6, 6-3; Summer Yardley (GBR) bt Anna Bowtell 6-2, 6-1; Rachael Collins bt Karin Kozlejova (Svk) 6-3, 6-0; Holly Horsfall (GBR) bt Deirbhile O'Keefe 6-4, 6-0.

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