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Racquet swap no issue for Murphy

Published 30/07/2014 | 13:34

Northern Ireland's Tony Murphy enjoyed a fine win at the Emirates Arena
Northern Ireland's Tony Murphy enjoyed a fine win at the Emirates Arena

Tony Murphy, a tennis coach from Northern Ireland, made his mark at the Commonwealth Games badminton tournament with a thrilling victory on Wednesday morning.

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The 24-year-old from Lisburn, who has swapped one racquet for another to compete in Glasgow, reached the men's singles third round with an energy-sapping 2-1 win over Pakistan's Muhammad Bhatti.

Murphy made a slow start against his little-known opponent but came from behind to secure one of the best victories of his career, 11-21 22-20 21-18, in 48 minutes.

Murphy, who also played in the team event and is featuring in the men's and mixed doubles at the Emirates Arena, said: "Normally I am really good at checking out my opponents but I had nothing on this guy.

"It's up there with one of the better wins and with this venue and the crowd, people that don't know you supporting you, shouting your name, it is a really good feeling.

"This is by far the biggest and best venue I have played in.

"I've lost a lot of matches like that this year so it's nice to actually pull one off when it matters the most."

Murphy has a day job coaching children at the Tennis Fundamentals grassroots club in his home town.

He normally works full-time but was allowed to switch to part-time this year in order to train twice a day or play in tournaments leading up to Glasgow.

He said: "Mixing the two has been difficult but I have managed it this year.

"But as soon as I get off the boat going home, I'll be back coaching full-time again and trying to fit my training around that."

Murphy finds it easy to switch between the two sports and feels they complement each other well.

He said: "When I was younger I played a wee bit of tennis myself to take a break from badminton during the summer, but there has been no tennis for me this year.

"But no, it doesn't interfere. You can take something from every sport you do and put it into your own game."

Press Association

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