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Karola Bejenaru relishing her return to action

By John Flack

Karola Bejenaru will return to the tournament scene this week for the first time since making her Junior Wimbledon exit when she takes part in the Co Dublin senior championship at Carrickmines.

The Romanian-born Windsor player bowed out in first round qualifying after going down in three sets to the third seed at Roehampton.

But she has put the disappointment behind her as she prepares for a busy month beginning with the Dublin tournament.

Seventeen-year-old Karola, who is seeded third, will be up against more experienced opponents but she is relishing the challenge.

"I am really looking forward to it and it's good to be up against older players as I am sure to have some tough matches," she said.

"Hopefully I can make it through to the semi-finals at least although it is sure to be very difficult from then on being seeded third."

Karola, who has received a bye into the second round, is due to start her campaign tomorrow evening when she faces either Deirbhile O'Keefe or Laura Fitzgerald.

Later in July she will be back on the ITF Junior tour as she defends her titles at Donnybrook in Dublin and at Windsor.

Meanwhile, Megan Chambers lifted the under-14 girls' singles title at the Co Louth Junior Open in Dundalk at the weekend.

The Hawarden player, who was the top seed, was given a tough battle by second ranked Sophie Murtagh but squeezed home on a 6-2 6-7 6-3 score line.

There was disappointment for two other Ulster players as Lydia Kelly and Freddy Murray lost in straight sets in the final of the girls' U-16 and boys' U-12 events to top seeds Maria Biansumba and Matthew Rendina respectively.

* The Wimbledon The girls' title was won by Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko, who beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia 2-6, 6-3, 6-0.

"In the first set I was a bit nervous," she said after clinching her first grand slam title. "This means the world to me."

The United States have had their worst Wimbledon since 1911, with no men or women getting past round three, but perhaps there is hope for the future after Noah Rubin won the boys' title with a battling 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory over another American, Stefan Kozlov. Rubin, a member of the John McEnroe academy in New York, is the first American winner since Donald Young in 2007 and only the second in 33 years.

It was a first grand slam title for the 18-year-old qualifier who was given a US flag by Kozlov at the trophy presentation.

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