Irish On Tour | August Update
It was an excellent month for Irish players with titles and final appearances in abundance
By Stephen Higgins | 1 August 2017
July was a rare chance for Irish fans to see their touring professionals in the flesh as the players returned home for two Futures events, the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Open and AIG Irish Open.
In the latter event at Fitzwilliam LTC, it was a particularly successful homecoming for Sinead Lohan, Sam Bothwell, Sam Barry and Simon Carr as they reached the women's singles final, men's doubles final, and men's singles semi-finals respectively.
July was an excellent month for Irish no.1 Sinead Lohan on the ITF circuit. The Tramore native won a $15,000 event in Cantanhede, Portugal and followed that up with a quarter-final showing in Don Benito, Spain. The 22-year-old closed the month with a run to the final of the Irish Open where she lost 6-7 4-6 to hard-hitting English player Jodie Burrage.
19-year-old Sam Bothwell made the doubles final in Fitzwilliam alongside Edward Bourchier of Australia. The duo succumbed 2-6 6-2 3-10 in the final to Edward's brother, Harry, and his flamboyant Aussie partner Daniel Nolan.
Irish no.2 Sam Barry lost a tight semi-final singles 5-7 3-6 to Peter Kobelt of the United States. Coincidentally, Kobelt partnered the Limerick man in a French Future earlier in the month. In Ajaccio, the Irish-American pair made the final but lost 4-6 2-6 to natives Yannick Jankovits and Jonathan Kanar.
17-year-old Simon Carr is transitioning from juniors to seniors and will be encouraged by his performances at Rathmines over the week. The Mullingar lad beat three players in the singles draw before the eventual champion, Adrien Bossel, halted his run in the last four. Carr also made the quarter-finals of the doubles partnering Peter Bothwell.
Carr began July by entering two prestigious junior events at Roehampton and Wimbledon. He did not progress in their singles draws but did pick up a doubles victory at each tournament. Carr is now 56 in the ITF junior rankings.
Pete Bothwell had a strong fortnight in Dublin. After reaching the doubles finals in Carrickmines with partner Lloyd Glasspool, Bothwell backed that up with last eight appearances in the singles and doubles of the Irish Open.
Across the Atlantic, David O'Hare and James McGee continued their efforts on the Challenger circuit.
O'Hare had a spectacular month as he picked up two doubles titles alongside partner Luke Bambridge. The Dubliner first claimed a Future in Wichita, Kansas, before adding the 2017 Winnipeg Challenger title to his CV. O'Hare and Bambridge finished the month with a run to the last eight of the Granby Challenger in Canada.
James McGee was a match short of qualifying for Wimbledon but a talented 19-year-old blocked his path. Fast-rising Andrey Rublev knocked the Castleknock man out of the second round of Wimbledon qualifying. The Russian would go on to make the main draw at SW19 and progress to the second round before a five set loss to Albert Ramos Vinolas.
Then, on American soil, McGee fell to Taylor Fritz (6-4 6-3) in Winnetka's round of 32, and William Blumberg (6-7 4-6) in Newport qualifying. The Irish no.1 has entered this week's Lexington Challenger in Kentucky, a tournament where he made the last eight in 2014.
Elsewhere, there were promising performances from Georgia Drummy, Julian Bradley and Osgar Ó'hOisín.
Drummy and her partner, Maria Tyrina, won the Grade 2 TC Bakkum Dutch Junior Open at the start of the month. The Donnybrook 17-year-old then made the semi-finals of the Irish Open doubles alongside Helena Jansen Figueras.
Julian Bradley made the last eight of the doubles draw in Fitzwilliam, and the last four of a Future in Saskatoon, Canada. For both of those runs he was partnered by American Josh Hagar.
Finally, Dubliner Osgar ó'Hoisín did well to advance to the last four of the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Open doubles with partner Josef Dodridge.
All rankings as of July 31, 2017