Busy Day for Irish in Prague

Today was a busy day for the Irish in Prague at the European Youth Championships. All 8 squad members were in action in the singles, with 5 players progressing to tomorrow’s 2nd Round.

In the Junior Boys Singles, a remarkable display by all 3 Irish boys saw all 3 progress to the 2nd Round without dropping a set. Paul McCreery defeated Labenouski from Belarus 4-0(8, 10, 10, 7) with Sam Hanley also winning in 4(9,1,5,2) against Kert Rais from Estonia. They will be joined in the 2nd Round by Ashley Robinson from Ulster who enjoyed a straightforward victory over Gambina from Malta(3,4,8,5). All 3 move into the 2nd Round tomorrow. Hanley will face Slovenian Slodej(Ranked 73 in Europe), McCreeery will face Dalea(Ranked 56 in Europe) and Robinson has a tough game against the Cypriot Yiangao(Ranked 33 in Europe). All 3 players face opponents with significantly higher rankings, but will carry confidence from today’s performances into their matches and will seek to cause an upset or two.

In the Junior Girls Singles, Claire Nelson progressed to the 2nd Round, defeating Vastavuo of Finland 4-1. She faces SLIFIRCZYK (ranked 66 in Europe) of Poland in tomorrow’s 2nd Round.

In the Cadet Singles, both Declan O’Brien and Stephen Slater were eliminated, although O’Brien took has match to 7 sets, eventually losing 4-3.

In the Cadet Girls, AShley Givan played a thrilling match with the Turkish player Pinar Sen, eventually winning 4:3 to progress to the 2nd Round where she will face Italian Elisa Trotti(ranked 38 in Europe).

In the Junior Mixed Doubles, Claire Nelson and Paul McCreery progressed, beating the English pair McBeath and Vickers 3-1. Hanley and Kenny were eliminated by the Swiss Mixed Doubles partnership. In the Cadet Mixed Doubles, Slater and Givan were outclassed by Ho and Gray of England in their 2nd Round tie. In the Junior Girls Doubles, Nelson and Rebecca Kenny progressed to the 2nd Round where they will face a pair from Luxembourg on Thursday. In the Junior Boys Doubles, Hanley and McCreery teamed up well to defeat Oktav(TUR) and Neiman(ISR) to progress to the 2nd Round in straight sets.