Sam Bothwell to sign off at Windsor tennis tournament
Sam Bothwell will make a rare appearance on his home turf when he takes part in the Belfast City Junior ITF tournament at Windsor next month.
The 17-year-old from Hillsborough recently joined the professional ranks and is currently competing in a $10,000 event in Zimbabwe.
Last year at Windsor he made an early exit to eventual winner Scotland's Ewan Moore, but he will be hoping for a longer run in the local ITF event, now in its third year.
"It will be my last junior tournament but I wanted to support it because it's at home and I am really looking forward to it and hopefully I can do well," said Bothwell, who is based at the Soto Tennis Academy in Spain along with older brother Peter.
In a first for the tournament, which runs from July 26-31, the Bothwell brothers will be playing each other in an exhibition match on the Thursday.
Last year Ulster Senior Open champion, Lucy Octave, reached the quarter-finals, only to lose to eventual winner Georgia Drummy and she will also be aiming to go further this time around.
"Retaining the Ulster title a few weeks ago has given me added confidence and hopefully that will stand me in good stead at the Irish ITF events," said the Donaghadee player.
The McCullough twins, Annie and Caitlin, who reached the final of the girls doubles on their home courts last year, will also be taking part along with their Ulster team mates Laura Reid and Emily Beatty and last year's Ulster U-16 champion Ben McClurg
The Windsor tournament is one of three ITF competitions in Ireland which will also host similar events at Malahide and Dundalk.
"It's great for all the Ulster players to be able to compete in a tournament of this standard in their own backyard," said Ulster U-18 coach Sam Armstrong.
There will be a celebratory event at Belfast City Hall on July 29 for players, their families and special guests, including the Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast.