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Sam Bothwell carries Ulster hopes into Windsor semi-finals

By John Flack

Sam Bothwell will be the only local player in today's singles semi-finals at the Belfast City ITF junior tournament at Windsor as Lucy Octave bowed out.

Bothwell, who is seeded fourth, had a straightforward 6-3, 6-1 win over Irish wild card entry Cian Maguire yesterday.

The 17-year-old from Hillsborough will face Spain's Carles Sarrio, who is seeded sixth, but belied the rankings to win the corresponding event at Malahide last week and yesterday defeated the top seed in straight sets.

So, unsurprisingly, Bothwell is expecting a tough challenge as he attempts to sign off his junior career with a tournament win on home territory.

"He's going to be a very difficult opponent and although he's more used to playing on clay courts, he has actually looked very good on the astroturf at Windsor." said Bothwell, who is based in Spain.

"My coach has been watching him and he also defeated one of my Soto Academy team-mates in an earlier round.

"So I have a fair idea as to what to expect and I will probably try and come in (towards the net) when I play him as he likes to keep the ball in play with long rallies.

"I was pretty nervous at the start of my two earlier matches but today was probably my best performance to date."

There was disappointment for Octave, who battled bravely against illness before losing 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to Britain's Alice Gillan.

"I was physically sick a couple of times and tried to put the illness to the back of my mind but it was difficult and it probably cost me a few points," she explained.

"Having said that, I had my chances and I was 30-love up on her serve twice in the third set but I didn't win the big points."

Quarter-final results: Boys singles: Carles Sarrio (ESP) bt James Davis (GBR) 7-6, 6-2; Sam Bothwell (IRE) bt Cian Maguire (IRE) 6-3, 6-1; Albert Roglan (ESP) bt Adam Jones (GBR) 7-5, 6-4; Joshua Rose (GBR) bt Erik Stoneham (GBR) 6-3, 6-7, 6-3.

Girls singles: Georgia Drummy (IRE) bt Maria Budin (GBR) 7-5, 6-3; Alice Gillan (GBR) bt Lucy Octave (IRE) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4; Jennifer Timotin (IRE) bt Anna Bowtell (IRE) 6-2, 7-5; Megan Davies (GBR) bt Aoife Tonna-Barthet (IRE) 6-1, 6-2

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