Last week we had another fantastic week of tennis culminating in the finals at Downshire Tennis Club on Saturday.
Previously we reported that Downshire local, and current Ireland champion, Peter Bothwell, had found time in his overseas schedule to come back and contest the Johnston Campbell North of Ireland Open for the first time. Of course we were delighted to have him along as he’s ranked 621 in the world by the ATP and 265 by the ITF.
In a rain soaked final The 23-year-old professional defeated Bangor teenager Jordan McKeown 6-2 6-1 to make it a triumphant debut in the tournament which is now in its third year.
Bothwell went on to lift the doubles trophy along with his younger brother Sam and picked up more than £1,000 for his efforts. He said: “It was a thoroughly enjoyable week and I achieved my target of not only winning the two trophies but getting in some valuable match practice.
“The conditions weren’t great with constant rain during the final which isn’t something I am used to but I was happy with the way I played.
“There were decent crowds throughout the week and, hopefully, they enjoyed the tennis that they saw.
“Provided my schedule on the tour permits, I would be delighted to come back again next year and do it all again.”
Bothwell had little time to celebrate on Saturday night as he hopped on a 6am flight yesterday to head back to Spain where he has been based since turning pro as a teenager.
He is competing in a $25,000 ITF tournament this week which will be a big step up from the North of Ireland and a change of environment in more than one sense.
Bothwell added: “It will be around 30 degrees centigrade on the courts which are hard and not astroturf like most of the ones we have at home.
“The clay and hard surfaces are much slower and the rallies tend to be much longer than those that I had at Downshire where points were settled after maybe three or four shots.
“The heat also means you tend to take longer between serves and, aside from that, I will probably be up against players who will have a higher ranking if I can win a match or two.
“But I’m feeling good about my game and will be looking to continue my recent progress after reaching three quarter-finals and two semis in the last few weeks on the circuit.
Meanwhile, top seed Caitlin McCullough defeated Hawarden’s Jessica Leeman 6-2 6-3 in the ladies’ final to retain her title.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our sponsorship of the North of Ireland Open again this year. We’ve seen it grow from strength to strength, no doubt in no small part to tournament director Ross McCarey and his team at Downshire Tennis Club.
If you’d like to know more about Johnston Campbell and what we do please get in touch via our Contact Us page or give us a call on 028 90501010