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Peter loses but Karola makes a point



No joy: Peter Bothwell lost in the first round in Portugal

No joy: Peter Bothwell lost in the first round in Portugal

�INPHO/Oisin Keniry

No joy: Peter Bothwell lost in the first round in Portugal

Peter Bothwell came back down to earth with a bump just days after achieving a career-best world ranking as he made a first-round exit from a $15,000 tournament in Portugal yesterday.

The Hillsborough man, who has now jumped to 620th on the ladder after winning the Irish Open, went down 2-6 7-6 3-6 to Spain's Pablo Gonzalez.

However, the 22-year-old gave a good account of himself against an opponent who was once ranked 280th and is now 400th on the world list.

After fighting back to take the second set on a tiebreak, Bothwell was level at 3-3 in the decider, but Gonzalez reeled off three games in a row to progress.

Karola Bejenaru is closing in on a best ever ranking after picking up another valuable point at the $15,000 tournament in the Netherlands yesterday.

The 21-year-old Windsor ace comfortably overcame Dutch youngster Noa Liauw A Fong 7-6 6-2 to reach the last-16.

Bejenaru had slipped down the ranking list after several injury blows but is now likely to edge closer to her previous best placing of 746th following her latest success.

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Yesterday's win will earn her a potentially more difficult encounter with another Dutch player, Dominique Karregat, provided the latter defeats a qualifier today.

Meanwhile, Ulster's Under-18s scraped into third place at the junior inter-provincial tournament in Claremorris, despite being held 3-3 by hosts Connacht in yesterday's final match.

Caleb Ralston, Cian McDonnell and the doubles pair of Kyran Maguire and Rory Cunningham were the Ulster winners.

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