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Bothwell brothers show their mettle

By David Kelly

It proved to be a perfect day for Hillsborough's Bothwell brothers Peter and Sam as they moved through to the second round of the Belfast City ITF event.

Peter got the ball rolling in the morning when he eased through after a 6-0 6-0 victory over William Bissett of Great Britain – the same lad he defeated three weeks ago in Edinburgh in the opening round before going on to make the final.

The 17-year-old dominated from the back of the court, sending down numerous winners in the morning sunshine before settling down to watch younger brother Sam.

Sam, 15, found himself up against the number eight seed Charlie Ridout who grabbed the initiative to lead by a set and 4-3 in the second. But then Sam raised his intensity and forced his opponent into errors to tie the match at a set-all.

But before the decider Sam required treatment to his tricep though that didn't stop him from enjoying one of the most impressive victories of the day, winning 3-6 6-4 6-4 and brother Peter was naturally delighted.

"I thought Sam started a little sluggishly in the first set but he seemed to get a bit angry in the second and that fired him up and started to improve. He got the job done without playing as good as he can," said Peter, who is based in Spain.

"Sam now has to face another British guy, Lucas Taylor and he will have to go up a level to win that one but I'm sure he can.

"As for myself I was very happy with how I played.

"It was a good way to start the week for both us but we know that there are tougher tests ahead."

Donaghadee's Aaron Stubbs seemed to have given himself a glimpse of a first ITF point when he broke in the second set of his clash with Uladzimir Dorash of Belarus but the chance came and went and he went down 6-3 7-5.

There was also disappointment for Comber's Matthew McClurg who lost 6-2 6-1 to Britain's Daniel Little, while number one seed Mason Recci impressed in his 6-2 6-2 defeat of Cian Reid.

Belfast Telegraph


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