Jessica in last eight as other locals go down fighting
Jessica Leeman is the last remaining local player in the singles category at the Belfast City ITF tournament going into today's quarter-finals after defeats for Mary Parkash and Jordan McKeown yesterday.
Leeman has reached the last eight of a junior world ranking event for the first time with a hard-fought 6-3 3-6 6-3 win over England's Monica Raviraj.
Parkash lost 6-0 6-0 to second seed Erika Batista Dodridge (GB), while McKeown bowed out 6-3 6-2 to top-ranked British player Tad MacLean.
Leeman, however, goes marching on, and her ranking is set to soar following yesterday's win and her triumph in the doubles at a similar event in Malahide last week.
However, she didn't have things all her own way against a tricky player who had dismissed the fourth seed in the first round.
Raviraj edged the first set, and then Leeman lost her opening service game in the second, but she didn't panic and even when she again suffered a break early in the third she stayed calm.
The 17-year-old Hawarden player said: "I think I am playing with a lot more confidence now and winning a few matches over the past two weeks has helped in that regard."
Leeman will face fifth seed Elisa Meeteren in the quarter-finals today.
McKeown, meanwhile, gave of his best but it wasn't quite good enough to match MacLean, who had too much power and precision for the 17-year-old.
He said: "I had my chances but couldn't take them, but the important thing is to learn from the experience."