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Octave relishes big battle with Bejenaru for Boat Club title

 

By John Flack

Lucy Octave is just two wins away from clinching an unprecedented fourth consecutive Keys Finance Ulster Open ladies singles' title, but an old foe is likely to be standing in her way.

Karola Bejenaru has returned to the fray, three years after she lost out to the Donaghadee teenager in the 2014 final at the Boat Club.

The Romanian-born Windsor player, who competes on the professional tour, will face Jessica Leeman in the last four after the Hawarden teenager continued her superb form with a 6-3 6-1 win over Annie McCullough last night .

Octave lost in the final of the North of Ireland Open in Hillsborough at the weekend, but she's looking forward to a possible rematch with Bejenaru later in the week.

The 19-year-old said: "I had mixed feelings when I heard Karola was taking part as she would be hard to beat, but it's good for the tournament that she's there and I will look forward to the challenge if I manage to make it into the final."

"However, it's a quality line-up with Jessica having improved a lot and the likes of Christine Duncan and Caitlin McCullough in my half of the draw, so I am not looking too far ahead."

Meanwhile, Harry Ellesmere and Justin Gilmore progressed into the main draw of the men's singles last night with straight-sets wins over Patrick Keane and Stephen McCausland respectively.

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