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Ulster trio stride forward in Malahide event

 

By John Flack

Three Ulster players have booked their places in the last-16 of the ITF junior world ranking tournament at Malahide, Co Dublin.

Jordan McKeown, Caleb Ralston and Cian McDonnell all progressed after straight-sets wins.

McKeown defeated Ireland's Nathan Slattery 6-2 6-2, Ralston beat Lithuanian Pijus Vaitekunas 6-3 6-2 and McDonnell had a hard-fought 7-6 6-4 success over Canada's Alvin Tudorica.

Ralston will take on unseeded Irish teen Oisin Murtagh today, but McKeown has an uphill task as he will be up against third-ranked Great Britain player Finn Murget.

McKeown said: "I played aggressive tennis and was happy with my performance. I was able to watch my opponent later in the day. I will put a game plan together but there's no pressure."

McDonnell also has a difficult task against fourth-seeded Irish Under-18 No.1 Ammar Elamin.

Meanwhile, at the Co Antrim Championship at Ballycastle, top seed Karl Donaldson and second-ranked former winner Aaron Stubbs both progressed.

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