Wednesday 18 October 2017

Champion hits form


Paddy Hickey

GEORGIA native Lazare Kukhalashvili made an impressive opening defence of his men's singles title in the National Indoors Championships at Dublin's David Lloyd Riverview last night.

The Dublin-based right-hander, who defeated Niall Fitzgerald in last year's final, needed only 58 minutes on court as he saw off the challenge of Francis Venzon from the Omagh club, 6-0 6-0.

Right from the start, the serve of Kukhalashvili, who practises at the Tennis Ireland National Training Centre in DCU, was in top order, which put Venzon under pressure.

After Kukhalashvili had raced through the opening set in less than 30 minutes, Venzon's hopes of striking back in the second set were immediately derailed when he lost the first two games.

Another impressive winner on the opening night was Greystones' Ciaran Fitzgerald as he secured his place in the second round after blitzing Mike Johnston 6-2 6-0.

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