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Tough love for twins as Caitlin defeats Annie

By John Flack

Windsor players Caitlin McCullough and Karola Bejenaru will be hoping for success on the big stage this week after chalking up morale-boosting victories at home and abroad.

McCullough claimed the Clubworld Travel Ulster Junior Open Under-18 title for the first time after beating her twin sister Annie 7-6, 6-2 in the final at the Boat Club.

Bejanaru has reached the final round of qualifying at a $10,000 tournament in her native Romania after defeating Belgian player Fabiana Pitisci 6-4, 6-4 yesterday to earn a meeting with compatriot Alexandra Filip today.

McCullough will be turning her attention to the ITF junior world ranking tournament in Dundalk when she faces Lithuania's Emilija Gedukaite in what is sure to be a hard fought match.

Her sister Annie, Lucy Octave, Laura Reid and Emily Beatty will also be in first round action today.

Caitlin is hoping that her success on Saturday, allied to an impressive performance at the ITF event at Windsor last week, will give her the confidence to push on and achieve yet more success.

"I played well and lost in three sets in the first round at the ITF," she said.

"That gave me a lift going into the Boat Club tournament and I was delighted to win it in my last year as a junior.

"However while we take it very seriously when we play each other I have to admit that I felt a bit of sympathy for Annie after the match because she's my twin sister.

"I had to come back from 4-1 down in the first set.

"But I managed to get my game together and I served and returned well.

"It was much tougher than the scoreline suggests. I had to play really well to win the match."

Peter Corrie who faces Italian Miguel Romavello, will be the sole local representative in the boys first round at the Dundalk ITF after joining Caitlin as a first time winner of the U-18 Ulster Junior Open title.

The Hilden player lifted the trophy after a hard-fought 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 win over Windsor's Jakob Robb.

Peter said: "Jakob made my life extremely difficult.

"It was a really tough match so I was just happy to come away with the win."

"To win at the Boat Club was something I had been working towards all through the winter and to have finally done it is fantastic," he added.

Results: Clubworld Travel Ulster Junior Open finals: Boys: U-18: Peter Corrie bt Jakob Robb 3-6, 7-6, 6-4; U-16: Caleb Ralston bt Jacob Fleming 6-1, 6-1; U-14: Fleming bt Jack Hudson 6-2, 6-2; U-12 Zachary Murray bt Aidan Barry 6-1, 5-7, 6-3.

Girls: U-18: Caitlin McCullough bt Annie McCullough 7-6, 6-2; U-16: Marie Biansuma bt Jessica Leeman 4-6, 6-2, 6-4; U-14: Sarah O'Connor bt Mary Parkash 7-6, 6-3; U-12: Ava Fanning bt Anna Gillespie 6-1, 6-0.

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