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Octave and Stec in pursuit of new records at Boat Club

 

By John Flack

Lucy Octave and Przemek Stec will be aiming to extend their already impressive success records in the Keys Finance Ulster Senior Open singles finals at the Boat Club this afternoon.

Standing in their way will be Windsor's Romanian-born professional Karola Bejenaru and 17-year-old Jordan McKeown, who also came through last night's semi-finals.

Octave defeated Windsor's Caitlin McCullough in a tight three-setter as she got past her Ulster senior inter-pro team-mate 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

The Donaghadee ace grabbed the crucial break to go 5-4 up in the final set and then held her own serve to win an exciting contest.

Bejanaru had fewer problems in beating 17-year-old Jessica Leeman 6-3, 6-1 as she had too much power for the 17-year-old from Hawarden.

Stec had a comfortable 6-2, 6-1 win over Aaron Stubbs while McKeown reached the final for the first time with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow-teen Harry Ellesmere.

Today, Octave will be bidding to lift the ladies trophy for an unprecedented fourth year in a row, while Stec will be out to win the men's title for what would be a magnificent seventh time on the trot.

The ladies final will be a repeat of the 2014 decider in which Octave won the first of her three titles by beating Bejenaru in a match played in torrential rain.

The 19-year-old, who is on a tennis scholarship in Utah said: "I haven't played Karola since then and the fact she is playing full-time will make it extremely difficult for me to beat her."

"But I feel my own game has progressed and I am now getting used to playing on astroturf again, having competed on hard courts during my first academic year in America."

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