Octave hoping to hit another high note after Hillsborough win
Lucy Octave will carry local hopes in the Johnston Campbell North of Ireland Open singles finals in Hillsborough today after the three other Ulster players lost out in last night's semi-finals.
The Donaghadee player defeated Marie-Perla Biansumba 6-2, 6-4 to gain revenge after losing to the Dundalk player at the same stage in last season's event.
Octave, who has just completed the first year of a tennis scholarship at Utah State University, will meet top-seeded Dubliner Caragh Courtney in today's showpiece.
Courtney was a comfortable 6-4, 6-0 winner over Ballymena woman Kerri Russell in last night's other ladies' singles semi-final.
Next week, Octave will be attempting to retain the Ulster championship trophy, after winning it for the past three years in a row.
She believes her North of Ireland campaign, irrespective of the outcome of today's final, will assist her preparations as she bids to make history by claiming the title at the Boat Club for an unprecedented fourth time.
The 19-year-old said: "In America, we play mainly on hard courts, which is a different challenge, so the experience I have gained in Hillsborough this week on astroturf surfaces will hopefully stand me in good stead next week."
"I'm delighted to have made it into the final in Hillsborough and it would be great to become the first local player to win the tournament after losing in the semis last year, but Caragh will be a difficult opponent."
The men's singles final will be an all-Dublin contest between the top two seeds, Dave O'Hare and Osgar O'Hoisin. Both players recorded straight sets wins over Ulster opponents last night to dash hopes of a local double in today's finals.
O'Hare, who is ranked 143 in the world in doubles, proved his adaptability as he overcame six-times Ulster champion, Polish-born Windsor player Przemek Stec, 6-3, 6-3, while O'Hoisin defeated Hilden teenager Peter Corrie by the same scoreline.