Friday 24 November 2017

FBD Irish Open: McGee topples King to seal quarter-final berth

DEFENDING champion James McGee beat Barry King in the second round of the FBD Irish Open at Fitzwilliam yesterday.

McGee booked a quarter-final spot with a 6-2 6-3 defeat of King, who retired from the full-time professional circuit following last year's semi-final exit in this event.

One service break proved enough for No 3 seed McGee to wrap up the first set and, after losing his serve early in the second set, he stormed back to reel off four games and close out the match.

"I tried to put out of my mind the fact that Barry is not playing full-time any more," said McGee, the lone Irish player left in the singles. Sam Barry lost 6-1 6-2 to Australia's No 4 seed Michael Look and John Morrissey was beaten 6-3 6-3 by France's No 2 seed Albano Olivetti.

"Playing tennis is a bit like riding a bike -- you don't forget the basics. Barry may be playing only club tennis now, but the way he played today I know he could still hold his own against guys in the top 500."

McGee had expected to be facing British Davis Cup player Daniel Evans today, but the No 5 seed crashed to a shock 7-6 (8/6) 3-6 6-2 defeat to 20-year-old New Zealander Ben McLachlan. The Kiwi had to come through the qualifying round and is rated over 1,300 places below Evans in the world rankings.

Irish Independent

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