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Octave serves up super show to make quarter-finals

By John Flack

Lucy Octave is rapidly earning herself the reputation of being the comeback queen after yet another sublime performance earned her a place in the quarter finals of the House & Stock Self Storage Belfast City ITF Junior Tournament at Windsor.

The Donaghadee teenager overcame England's Alice Gillan 7-5, 6-1 to earn a meeting with the rising star of Irish tennis Georgia Drummy today.

Having come from a set down to dismiss the third seed in Monday's first round clash, Octave trailed 4-0 in the first set against Gillan before staging a terrific revival that saw her lose only two of the next 15 games to send her into bonus territory.

And things got even better later in the day when she secured some more ranking points by sharing an unexpected success in the doubles with Emily Beatty.

Predictably it was another comeback win as the Ulster pair lost the first set before progressing on a 5-7, 6-4 (10-4) scoreline against top seeds Lisa Friess, of Austria and British player Mia Smith.

Lucy admitted that she had a game plan for her singles win, although she was unable to put it into practice in the early stages.

"I had played Alice before so I knew what to expect and along with my coach (Sam Armstrong) we devised a plan, but going 4-0 down in the first wasn't part of it," said the 16 year-old.

"I am absolutely delighted to have got this far as I really only expected to win one singles match, so to be in with a chance of winning three is a real bonus.

"I started nervously and couldn't get any sort of rhythm going but that's nothing new and I very often make a slow start."

Octave's coach says his pupil's inscrutability on court can work in her favour as her opponents are kept guessing.

"She tends to be poker-faced, but that's no bad thing as other players don't know whether she's up or down as far as her confidence goes," said Armstrong.

"That was a great win for her and she stayed calm when she was 4-0 down and even at that stage I knew she was going to win the match.

"Now that she has more points on the board she will be in a position to play in higher graded tournaments so it is great for her.

"It will be difficult against Georgia as she is a left-hander and has more experience of playing right handed players, but receiving serves to her back hand may not be a bad thing for Lucy, so hopefully she will produce a good performance in the quarters."

Fourteen-year old Drummy was in fine form herself as she came from 2-5 down in the second set to beat sixth seed Sophie Drakeford-Lewis (GB) 6-1, 7-5.

On a better day for the Ulster contingent, twins Annie and Caitlin McCullough also picked up ranking points with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Windsor's Laura Reid and England's Summer Yardley.

Belfast City ITF junior tournament results: Girls Singles: second round: (Irish unless stated): Aoife Tonna-Barthet bt Katarzyna Kubicz (Pol) 7-5, 6-4; Timea Palickova (SVK) bt M Montgomerie (GBR) 6-0, 6-2; Ellie Rose Griffiths (GBR) bt Marija Povilionyte (LTU) 6-1, 6-4; Lauren Deegan bt Chelsea May Samways (GBR) 6-1, 6-1; Georgia Drummy bt Sophie Drakeford-Lewis (GBR) 6-1, 7-5; Lucy Octave bt Alice Gillan (GBR) 7-5, 6-1; Jennifer Timotin bt Summer Yardley (GBR) 6-3, 6-1; Holly Horsfall (GBR) bt Rachael Collins 6-4, 6-2.

Doubles: first round: Katarzyna Kubicz (Pol) & Maria Savu (Rou) bt Janine Laabei & Aisling O'Riordan 6-3, 7-5; Lauren Deegan & Marija Povilionyte (LTU) bt Anna Bowtell & Eimear Maher 7-5, 7-6; Karin Kozlejova (SVK) & Timea Pavlickova (SVK) bt Aoife Leonard & Chelsea May Samways (GBR) 4-6, 6-4, 10-4; Emily Beatty & Lucy Octave bt Lisa Friess (AUT) & Mia Smith (GBR) 5-7, 6-4, 10-4; Annie & Caitlin McCullough bt Laura Reid & Summer Yardley (GBR) 6-0, 6-3; Sophie Drakeford-Lewis (GBR) & Alice Gillan (GBR) bt Rachael Collins & Laura Fitzgerald 1-6, 6-3, 10-3.

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