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Ralston hails Bath move after reaching quarters at Windsor

By John Flack

Caleb Ralston overcame local rival Jordan McKeown in a three-set thriller to reach the quarter-finals of the Belfast City junior ITF tournament at Windsor yesterday.

The Lurgan teenager defeated the Ulster Senior Open champion 5-7 6-4 6-4 in a match lasting more than two hours.

Ralston and Jessica Leeman will carry local hopes in today's quarter-finals after the Hawarden player comfortably beat Ireland's Roisin Murphy 6-1 6-2 in the girls' event.

Leeman will now meet top-seeded American Taylor Cataldi while Ralston will face fourth-ranked Jamaican Luke Quaynol.

Ralston attributed his latest success to the fact that he receives expert tuition in Bath, having opted to travel to England to continue his education and tennis two years ago.

He said: "The Bath experience has been fantastic and the coaching and the facilities are second to none at the university, which has close links with the school I attend.

"I have been able to develop mentally and physically, helped by the infrastructure at the university where we have access to the gym and running track as well as the tennis courts.

"We also have a weekly mental skills session which helps us with how to approach and respond to various situations.

"That all helped in what was a tight match against Jordan and I was happy with how I played overall."

Leeman, meanwhile, says the pressure is now off as she prepares to face American Cataldi.

She said: "I can go out and try to enjoy the match as I won't be expected to win, but I will be doing my best and it's been great so far with all the support that comes with playing at home."

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