Sam Bothwell signs off with title
Sam Bothwell finished his junior tennis career on a high as he shared success in the boy's doubles final at the ITF tournament at Windsor yesterday.
The 17-year-old, originally from Hillsborough but now based in Spain, partnered his Soto Tennis Academy team-mate Rex Parker to a 7-5 2-6 (10-8) win over English pair James Davis and Matthew Summers in the final.
It was a close-run thing in the tie-break as Bothwell and Parker trailed 7-4 at one stage before coming through to seal the win.
But the bigger prize eluded Bothwell as he earlier made an exit from the boys' singles event at the semi-final stage as he went down 6-4 6-0 to Carles Sarrio.
The Ulster boy went toe-to-toe with the Spaniard in the early stages and broke back immediately after losing his serve to trail 2-1.
Then with the score level at 4-4, a poor service game from Bothwell gave Sarrio the edge and he made no mistake in taking the next to win the set.
Bothwell never recovered from that blow as he went on to lose six games in a row to surrender to his big-hitting opponent.
"I started okay but I just didn't play to my potential after that and it was probably my worst performance of the entire week," he said.
"The plan was to come into the net whenever I could but my opportunities were limited.
"He played very solidly and hit the ball hard and long but it was a disappointing way to end the singles tournament.
"It was some consolation to win the doubles though and it was only the second time I have won such an event at an ITF. We played well in the first set then lost our way but we came back well."
Today's girl's singles final will be an all-Irish affair between title holder Georgia Drummy and Jennifer Timotin. Top seed Drummy beat Lucy Octave's conqueror, England's Alice Gillan, 6-3 6-2, while Timotin defeated second-ranked Briton Megan Davies 4-6 6-4 6-2.
Results: Boys' Singles: Semi-finals: Carles Sarrio (ESP) bt Sam Bothwell (IRE) 6-4 6-0; Albert Roglan (ESP) bt Joshua Rose 7-6 6-1; girls: Georgia Drummy (IRE) bt Alice Gillan (GBR) 6-3 6-2; Jennifer Timotin (IRE) bt Megan Davies 4-6 6-4 6-2. Boys' doubles final: Bothwell (IRE) & Alex Parker (GBR) bt James Davis (GBR) & Matthew Summers (GBR) 7-5 2-6 (10-8). Girls' doubles final: Drummy & Timotin bt Maria Budin (GBR) and Davies 6-4 5-7 (10-8).