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Underdog Jordan McKeown has an upset in his sights

By John Flack

Jordan McKeown was the last of the qualifiers to make it into the first round of the men's championship singles event at the Keys Finance Ulster Senior Open Belfast Boat Club.

The Bangor teenager defeated Steven McDowell 7-6, 6-3 to set up a meeting with Aaron Stubbs in the last 16 this evening.

The 20-year-old Donaghadee player is seeded third and was a semi-finalist in last year's tournament.

McKeown reckons he has a chance of causing an upset after an impressive display in last night's match.

"I was a bit sluggish at the start, but I got better as the match progressed and I was particularly happy with my serve." he said.

"Aaron will obviously start favourite, but I know he hasn't been playing too much recently so I think I am in with a chance if I play well.

"He is very good at keeping the ball in play and digging out returns so I will have to be patient and play to my full potential."

Meanwhile Jessica Leeman made it into the quarter-finals of the ladies singles for the first time.

The 15-year-old Hawarden player had little difficulty in beating Omagh's Nikki Hawkes 6-1, 6-3 in the first round but she says she needs to improve if she is to progress any further.

She will be up against second seed Annie McCullough.

"I have never played Annie but I lost to her sister 7-5 in the third set after being 5-3 up in a league match so it's going to be a really tough test for me." said Jessica.

At just 11, the youngest player in the tournament, Ethan Hance continued his superb run in the B singles as he defeated 23-year-old, Justin Philpott 7-5, 3-6, 6-0 to reach the quarter-finals.

Results: Ladies championship singles: Jessica Leeman bt Nikki Hawkes 6-1, 6-3; Megan Chambers w/o Alicia Perry scr. Ladies B singles: Jane Hamilton bt Delia Appleton 6-3, 6-2; Lucie Frazer bt Helen Doyle 6-2, 6-0; Men's championship singles qualifying: Jordan McKeown bt Steven McDowell 7-6, 6-3. Men's B singles: Max Thompson bt Michael Anderson 5-7, 6-2, 6-4; Colin Watterson bt Lee Irvine 6-2, 6-3; Lawrence McMahon by Laurence Rooney 6-2, 6-1; Andrew Moore bt James cowan 6-2, 6-2; Ethan Hance bt Justin Philpott 7-5, 3-6, 6-0.

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