Ice-cool Sam Barry holds his nerve to edge thriller
TOP seed Sam Barry had to battle extremely hard to see off a gutsy challenge from Daniel Glancy in a titanic quarter-final of the Irish Men's Open at Fitzwilliam LTC.
With a 484-place advantage (345 to 829) in the world rankings, the Limerick man was a red-hot favourite to continue his winning run in the ITF Futures world-ranking event.
But after taking the first set, thanks to one break of serve, 22-year-old Barry was pushed all the way by his 25-year-old Mayo opponent before clinching a semi-final place on a 6-3 7-6 (9/7) scoreline.
In the first contest between the Davis Cup team-mates, Glancy's tremendous battling qualities were particularly evident in the 11th game of the second set, when he saved two break points and prevented Barry from taking a potentially match-winning 6-5 lead.
On two occasions Irish No 4 Glancy held game points, but Irish No 3 Barry battled back to deuce before the Castlebar native moved 6-5 in front.
In the next game, Barry trailed 15-30 on his serve before eventually levelling at 6-6 to extend the contest into a tie-break, where the Munster man quickly raced into a 3-0 advantage.
Subsequently, Glancy courageously saved three match points, levelling at 6-6 and 7-7 before Barry, holding an 8-7 lead, closed out the match by winning the next point on his opponent's serve.