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Duncan produces stunning win to set up final clash with McCullough

 

By John Flack

Christine Duncan guaranteed that there will be a local winner at the Johnston Campbell North of Ireland Open for the first time after dismissing top-seeded Ruth Copas in last night's ladies' singles semi-final in Hillsborough.

The Ballynafeigh player scored a superb 7-6 6-1 win over the 2016 champion and current Irish Federation Cup ace.

Duncan will meet Windsor's Caitlin McCullough in today's decider after she dumped out second seed Kerri Russell 6-4 7-6 in another upset.

And there's a chance that there will be double local success in today's deciders as Jordan McKeown, who beat Harry Ellesmere 6-2 6-7 6-2, will face Waterford native Morgan Lohan, who beat Karl Donaldson 5-7 6-2 6-4 in the men's semis.

But pride of place last night went to Duncan, who defied the odds and the seedings to eliminate Copas.

Her achievement was all the more remarkable considering Copas, who beat local pro Karola Bejenaru in the 2016 national indoor final, had never previously lost a match at the Hillsborough event.

The Dundalk native was bidding for her second triumph at the North of Ireland, now in its third year, having won the inaugural tournament and missed out last season due to international commitments.

After a close first set, the Belfast woman took control in the second and Copas had no answer to her brilliant forehand shots which proved to be her most potent weapon.

Belfast Telegraph

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