Racquets: Barry aiming for repeat dose of Thailand heroics
Rising star Sam Barry heads into next week's ITF Men's Futures event in Bournemouth boosted by his massive improvement of over 300 places in the singles world rankings.
As a result of reaching the semi-finals of the recent Futures tournament in Thailand, Barry collected six world-ranking points.
That feat saw the 19-year-old Limerick lad surge 321 places from 1,250 to 929 in the ATP world list, with his previous career-high position being 1,196 set in November 2010.
"Obviously I'm very pleased to have made a decent move up the world rankings," said Barry, who pulled off a shock 6-1 6-3 win over Britain's world No 360 Joshua Milton in Thailand.
"And it's also a good boost for me going into the Bournemouth tournament.
"But at the same time I'm not getting carried away, and what I achieved in Thailand will be no good unless I repeat it on a regular basis in tournaments starting next week in Bournemouth.
"My aim is to move up the world rankings as quickly as I can."
In the semi-finals of the Thailand event, Barry lost out to British Davis Cup player Daniel Evans, who is ranked at 319, on a 3-6 5-7 scoreline.
"He's a very good player and unfortunately I failed to take advantage of when I was leading 5-4 in the second set," said the Dublin-based player.
As in the three tournaments in the Far East, Barry, who only started out on his professional career last October, will have to slug it out in the qualifying round at Bournemouth, needing to win two matches to clinch a place in the main draw.
The southern England event, where Russia's 308-ranked Mikhail Vasiliev is the top seed, will be staged on a clay surface, and as part of his preparation Barry has been practising this week on a similar surface at the Fitzwilliam Club.
"The tournaments in Thailand were all played on hardcourts, so it's very important to get in as much practice as possible on clay," said Barry who, along with Dubliner Barry King, returned home from South East Asia last Saturday.
Despite playing in both singles and doubles -- with King -- over the past three weeks, Barry wasted no time in resuming his hitting practice and training programme.
"I was back in the gym on Monday, and then I was back out on the court again on Tuesday," he commented.
In squash, Irish No 1 Madeline Perry is hoping to recover as soon as possible from the back injury which derailed her bid for a fifth Irish Open title at the weekend.
The top-seeded Banbridge native was forced to quit when she trailed New Zealand's No 3 seed Jaclyn Hawkins 0-2 in the semi-finals.
David Ryan has given Irish junior squash a major boost by being placed in No 1 position in the European Boys' U-15 rankings.
The Sutton player won the French Junior Open in February and was runner-up in the Welsh Open last month.