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Christine Duncan seals last eight spot but faces tough Octave test

By John Flack

Christine Duncan became the first player to qualify for a place in the quarter-finals of the Keys Finance Ulster championship which got under way at the Boat Club last night.

The experienced Ballynafeigh ace overcame Windsor teenager Lily May McKane on a 6-0, 6-4 scoreline to advance to the last eight of the ladies singles in which she will face top seed and title-holder Lucy Octave.

Octave is bidding to win the famous trophy for the third year in a row and she is anxious to do just that as she prepares to take up the offer of a tennis scholarship in the United States.

The 18-year-old Donaghadee player is heading to Utah State University in August for a four-year trip of a lifetime when she'll combine studying for a degree in Marketing and International Business with high-calibre tennis.

Octave said: "To win the Ulster championship for the third year in a row would be the perfect send-off for me and I can't wait to go to America."

"I will be playing Division One tennis at Utah and, last year, the university finished in the top 60 of around 300 Colleges so the standard should be really high."

In the men's singles qualifying, Irish national match play champion Dylan Leeman (Hawarden) defeated Donaghadee's Peter Galt 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, Jakob Robb won the all-Windsor battle against Will Millar 6-3, 6-1 and the Boat club's Cian McDonnell defeated Downshire's Will Boyd 6-1, 6-3.

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