Peter Bothwell earned himself another valuable world ranking point yesterday after booking his place in the quarter-finals of the $25,000 ITF Futures 2 tournament at Fitzwilliam in Dublin.
The Irish Davis Cup player defeated Australian ace Edward Bourchier 6-2 7-5 in a match that took place in tricky conditions, with a strong wind and occasional rain making life difficult.
However, Bothwell prevailed with a degree of comfort against the 28-year-old, who had come through qualifying.
The 21-year-old Bothwell, who is originally from Hillsborough but is based at the Soto Academy in southern Spain, will now face the sixth-seeded Peter Kobelt of America in the last eight.
Irrespective of the outcome, Bothwell should have done enough to elevate his world ranking from 691 but he wants to go as far as possible in the tournament at his favourite venue and in front of his home fans.
He said: "It was a different sort of pressure from the usual as people were probably expecting me to win after I knocked out the top seed in the first round.
"I stuck to my game plan and played well so if I can continue to dominate opponents and play on my terms there's no reason why I can't go on winning here."
Bothwell revealed that he owed a debt of gratitude to his younger brother Sam, who is partnering Bourchier in the doubles at Fitzwilliam this week.
He added: "I didn't really watch their doubles match too closely yesterday but Sam gave me a few tips that were useful although the priority, as always, is to focus on my own game and dictate the opponent as much as possible."
Bothwell won the first set comfortably enough but then lost his serve midway through the second. But he fought back in kind in the next game and, after a double break, served out to 15 to take the match and set up a meeting with the American.
Bothwell played Kobelt at a tournament in Spain a few weeks ago and the Ulsterman prevailed, but only after winning a third set tie break, so another close contest is anticipated.
Bothwell stated: "That match was played on a relatively slow hard court but the surface at Fitzwilliam is much quicker so it'll be a case of who adapts better.
"But winning matches gives you confidence and, after a decent few weeks lately, I have been pleased with my form and now it's just a case of working hard on a few details in practice and hopefully putting them into effect in a match situation."