Peter Bothwell's on the way up despite his pain in Spain
Peter Bothwell failed in his bid to land a first-ever professional title yesterday when he lost in the final of the $10,000 tournament in Spain.
The 21-year-old Hillsborough man went down 6-0, 6-2 to local favourite, Ricardo Ojeda, who is ranked 317 in the world, more than 1,100 places higher than the Ulsterman.
Bothwell had never reached a semi-final before and he will go into this week's event at the same venue, confident of building upon his progress before heading to Turkey next month along with his younger brother Sam.
He said: "Although it was disappointing to lose the final, he was an outstanding player and some of his shot-making was incredible."
"But I now should have a good chance of making it into the top 1,000 when the latest rankings are announced and that's important. It means there is a better chance of gaining direct entry into main draws in future tournaments and not having to go through qualifying."
Meanwhile, Argentina fought back to beat Croatia 3-2 and win the Davis Cup for the first time in Zagreb.
Croatia led 2-1 going into the final day and looked hot favourites when Marin Cilic led Juan Martin del Potro by two sets to love.
However, Del Potro staged a remarkable comeback to win 6-7 (4-7) 2-6 7-5 6-4 6-3 in four hours 53 minutes.
Federico Delbonis then easily dismissed the challenge of Ivo Karlovic 6-3 6-4 6-2 in the decisive fifth rubber to clinch victory for the visitors.