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Octave in semis as Saunders causes big shock

 

By John Flack

Lucy Octave became the first player to progress to the semi-finals of the Ulster Open at the Boat Club last night.

The former champion, who is back home from a tennis scholarship in the United States for the summer, defeated Ballynafeigh's Christine Duncan 6-4 6-3.

The Donaghadee woman will now face title holder and top seed Jessica Leeman in the last four, assuming the Hawarden ace overcomes Omagh's Nikki Hawkes, who beat Emily Rose 6-4 6-4 last night.

In the men's singles, Aaron Stubbs and Matthew Saunders are through to the quarter-finals.

Ballymena youngster Saunders produced an upset when he dismissed former Ulster player Gareth McGreevy on a 7-5 1-6 6-4 scoreline to progress.

Stubbs, who failed to qualify for the main draw at last week's Johnston Campbell North of Ireland Open, made amends with a 6-4 6-4 win over Bangor teen Harry Ellesmere.

Saunders will face last year's beaten finalist Cian McDonnell in the quarter-finals while Stubbs will be up against second-seeded Caleb Ralston.

The two remaining quarter-finalists will be determined tonight when Dylan Leeman and Karl Donaldson will start favourites to beat Michael Blease and Peter Galt respectively.

Meanwhile, Peter Bothwell bowed out of a $25,000 tournament in Spain last night after an agonising 6-7 6-7 defeat to fourth seed Albano Olivetti.

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