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Sam eyes clash with brother after Dublin win

 

Sam Bothwell
Sam Bothwell

By John Flack

Sam Bothwell stepped out of big brother Peter's shadow on Saturday when he lifted the Co Dublin title at the first time of asking.

The 21-year-old swept to an impressive 6-2, 6-3 win over second seeded Dubliner Sean Collins in the final at Carrickmines.

Now Sam is eyeing the possibility of a battle with his older sibling at the Irish Open next month in Dublin.

The pair could well meet at some stage in the showpiece which is part of the Futures Tour with world ranking points on offer.

Peter, who won the Open for the first time last August, competes on the professional tour and is currently ranked just out side the world's top 600 and will be leading the Irish Davis Cup team in San Marino this week.

His younger brother has also played in the Davis Cup and has been named as first reserve for this week's tournament and will be called up in the event of an injury.

Sam returned to Ireland a year ago after being based in Spain at the Soto Academy with his brother and he now trains regularly with the other high performance players at Dublin City University.

He was delighted with his performance last week at Carrickmines when he dropped only one set en route to the final - to fellow Ulsterman Caleb Ralston.

Bothwell said: "I was very happy to have won the tournament as I am not used to grass courts so it was a new challenge for me and I felt I responded well to it."

"Although I still play occasionally on the tour and was at a tournament in Spain along with Peter a couple of weeks ago, I will be staying in Ireland for the next while.

"I will be sticking around to train on the astroturf courts before the Irish Open and it's nice to be able to spend more time at home."

Meanwhile, Aaron Stubbs lifted the Co Antrim senior title at Ballycastle on Saturday for the fifth time.

The Donaghadee ace was involved in a tight battle with ATT Ballymena player Karl Donaldson, before emerging a 6-1, 6-7, 6-4 winner.

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