Saturday 17 March 2018

McGee fired up for semi-final clash

JAMES McGEE insists his preparations for today's FBD Irish Men's Open semi-final against top seed Jason Goodall couldn't have gone any better, despite receiving a walk-over in the last eight.

Defending champion McGee was due to face Ben McLachlan in quarter-finals yesterday, but the 20-year-old New Zealander pulled out of the match late on Tuesday night because of a knee injury.

"I don't think I'd be any better prepared for the singles semi-final if I had won my quarter-final match," said the No 3 seed McGee (25) ahead of the battle against Davis Cup player Goodall, who edged out fellow Briton Daniel Cox 3-6 6-4 7-5 yesterday.

The second semi-final will be between France's No 2 Albano Olivetti, a 6-1 6-4 winner over Greece's Alexandros Jakupovic, and Australia's No 4 seed Michael Look, who scored a 6-3 3-6 6-3 victory over France's Rudy Coco.

McGee added: "It's not causing me any worry or concern that I didn't have a singles match today.

"As well, as the two singles matches, I will have had three doubles matches here this week before the singles semi-final, so I'm certainly not lacking in match practice."

Cluskey and Martin dig deep to prevail

IRELAND'S James Cluskey yesterday powered his way through to the doubles semi-finals of the ATP Challenger Tour event in Kazakhstan.

In partnership with France's Fabrice Martin, the 25-year-old Dubliner scored a 4-6 6-4 10-8 win over Belarussian duo Yaraslau Shyla and Dzmitry Zhyrmont in the outdoor hardcourt tournament in Astana.

Today, Cluskey and Martin take on the No 1 seeds, Russia 's Konstantin Kravchuk and Ukraine's Denys Molchanov.

Optimistic outlook on Boucher injury


Mark Boucher's medical team are cautiously optimistic the former South Africa wicketkeeper will have a "reasonable recovery" of the vision in his left eye.

The 35-year-old had to leave the Test tour of England following the career-ending injury he suffered when a bail hit him in the eye in a tour match at Taunton earlier this month.

Following an emergency operation in England, he flew home and last week underwent a second exploratory procedure in Cape Town.

Cricket South Africa reported after the latest procedure that the outcome looked "very positive", and the latest update was also good news.

"While it is impossible to predict the long-term outcome of Mark's eye injury, his medical team are, nevertheless, cautiously optimistic that he will have a reasonable recovery of the vision in his left eye."

Irish Independent

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