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It's sweet sixteen for Karola Bejenaru in title shot

By John Flack

Karola Bejenaru made an impressive start to the defence of her ITF title at Donnybrook as she moved comfortably into the last 16. The Romanian-born Windsor player had a 6-2 6-2 win over Slovakian Karin Kozlejova to earn a meeting with British player Summer Yardley today.

Bejenaru's second round opponent, who came through qualifying, defeated Ulster's Emily Beatty, who had been a direct entrant into the main draw.

Beatty put up a brave battle especially in a tight first set, but unfortunately lost at the first hurdle on a 6-4, 6-3 scoreline.

Overall it was a disappointing day all round for the Ulster girls.

Windsor sisters Annie and Caitlin McCullough, who had come through qualifying, were among the early casualties.

Annie was drawn to face the seventh seed, Donia Abdel-Aziz (Great Britain), and bowed out 6-0, 7-6 after a much improved performance in the second set.

Caitlin was involved in one of the closest matches of the day, taking her Lithuanian opponent Marija Povilionyte the distance before losing in three sets 2-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Another of the Windsor contingent, Laura Reid, also did well in the first set of her match against Ceire Mullins, of Great Britain, before going down 7-5, 6-2.

Ulster senior champion Lucy Octave also lost, the Donaghadee player falling to a 6-4, 6-1 defeat against Slovakia's Timea Pavlickova.

The only Ulster player to make the main draw of the boys' event, Sam Bothwell, had the misfortune to be pitted against the top seed and he also exited.

The 16-year-old lost 6-4, 6-3 to Britain's Dan Bennett despite breaking his opponent in the first set to move into a 4-2 lead.

In the second set, Bothwell trailed 3-5 and then failed to capitalise on three break point opportunities.

Most of the players who are playing Donnybrook will also be taking part in the Belfast City ITF tournament at Windsor which gets under way with qualifying at the weekend.

Belfast Telegraph


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