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Lucy Octave topples fourth seed and storms into quarters

By John Flack

Lucy Octave scored a sensational win over fourth seed Sofia Samavati at Windsor yesterday to reach the quarter-finals of the Belfast City ITF junior tournament for the second year in a row.

And Sam Bothwell is through to the last eight of the boys event but there was an agonising defeat for Matthew O'Boyle who had three match points against the third seed only to lose in the final set.

Octave was involved in a tense and sometimes attritional contest with the Dane but she held her composure to win 6-1, 6-3.

The Donaghadee player called for the tournament referee early in the match and an umpire was sent onto the court to keep a close eye on proceedings.

"I asked for an umpire to come on after the third game because there had already been a few dodgy line-calls and I didn't want it to affect my game later on," said the 17-year-old Ulster senior champion.

"Then she had a back problem and she asked for the physio to come on and at 3-0 in the second set she came on again.

"The umpire then overruled one of her calls and she didn't take it well so she asked for the referee again - it was all very dramatic.

"It was a challenge to stay focused because there were so many breaks in play but I managed to stay clam and control it.

"I could have let it affect me more when I was 3-0 up as it then went to 3-2 but, luckily, I was able to keep it together and close it out.

"She took forever between points and didn't rush herself, she really slowed things down. But it was a good win and I'm happy with how I played."

Octave now faces a familiar adversary today in the shape of British player Alice Gillan, who beat the Ulster girl last week at Malahide.

"I definitely know a wee bit more how to play her and I am looking forward to it but she's been playing well and getting to the final last week has helped her confidence.' she added.

"But I am also feeling more confident after that win today so it should be a good match."

Windsor's Laura Reid was unable to join Octave in the last eight though, as she bowed out 5-7, 6-0, 6-1 to Britains' Maria Budin, the seventh seed.

Bothwell, meanwhile, will meet Irish wild card entry Cian Maguire in the quarter-finals today after a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Poland's Maksymillian Raupuk.

"Once again I made a slow start and I can still play a lot better so, hopefully, the match with Cian, whom I've never played before, will be a turning point." said the Hillsborough teenager, who is based in Spain.

O'Boyle went out in heartbreaking fashion after third-ranked British teen Adam Jones snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to win 6-4, 6-7, 7-5.

The Bangor lad led 4-1 and 5-2 in the final set and had match points to win it but it wasn't to be after he had secured a place in the second round of an ITF tournament for the first time 24 hours earlier.

"His opponent had a net cord when saving one of the points and Matthew could probably have put it away to win the match but he will learn from this and it's been a great week for him," said O'Boyle's coach, Paul Watt.

Belfast Telegraph


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