Blow for Ulster as Octave pulls out of inter-pros
Lucy Octave has been ruled out of this year's senior inter-provincial tournament due to injury after earlier being forced to withdraw from the Racquet Lab Ulster Open, currently taking place at the Boat Club.
The 20-year-old from Donaghadee is a three-time winner of the prestigious tournament but had no option but to pull out as she recovers from double hip surgery, which will also prevent her from representing Ulster at the inter-pros in Belfast in August.
She is currently preparing for her third year of a tennis scholarship at Utah State University after missing most of last season's US college season.
Octave said: "It's been a very frustrating year and I first started having pain in my hips last September.
"I needed surgery, and it's obviously disappointing to miss both the Ulster Open and the inter-pros, but I should be back on court by October."
Most of the action at the top-end of the Ulster Open last night was concentrated on the latter stages of qualifying for the main draw in the men's singles event.
Windsor's Will Millar became the first player to progress after a 6-4 6-4 win over Donaghadee's Peter Galt. He has, however, drawn the short straw as he now meets top seeded title holder Jordan McKeown in the last eight.
Boat Club teenager Ethan Hance is one win away from going through and faces Larne's Adam Boyle following a 6-4 6-3 success over Hilden's Mackenzie Connor.
Hawarden's Rory Cunningham is eyeing up a clash with Matthew Saunders (ATT, Ballymena) after beating Harry McCracken, who had to retire with an injury when trailing 6-4 6-2.