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Windsor player Karola Bejenaru to drive point home after qualifying win in Spain

By John Flack

Karola Bejenaru is now just a single victory away from reaching the first round proper of the $10,000 tournament in Lleida, Spain, after making a winning start to her qualifying campaign yesterday.

The 17-year-old Windsor player strolled past Takhmina Burkhanova, a Spanish-based player from Tajikistan, comfortably winning 6-3, 6-1.

Today Bejenaru will be up against Sweden's Sirri Victorsson and her coach Przemek Stec reckons that his star pupil has a decent chance of progressing in her first such tournament for well over a year.

In recent weeks she has been competing on the ITF junior tour, reaching the quarter-finals and last 16 in her last two outings in Hungary and the Czech republic respectively.

"Karola played well and showed a lot of confidence and it's a good draw for her as the Swedish girl doesn't have a world ranking either," said Stec.

"Like Karola, she is 17-years-old, so I think she has a chance of going through if she gets things right mentally, as there won't be much between the two players ability wise."

If the Romanian-born teenager can win today's match then she will go into the main draw, which will be made after the end of qualifying and she will then be one victory away from securing a world ranking point at senior level.

Meanwhile at the veterans inter-provincial tournament in Greystones, Ulster had to settle for a third place finish.

They were still in with a chance of winning the tournament despite a 9-7 defeat by Munster as a 13-3 win over Connacht put Ulster back in contention, but a 14-1 loss to Leinster dashed their hopes.

VETERANS INTER-PRO Final standings: 1. Leinster 41 pts; 2. Munster 25; 3. Ulster 21; 4. Connacht 9.

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