Thursday 23 November 2017

Racquets: Barry scalps send him storming up world rankings

TEENAGE tennis ace Sam Barry feels that he could hardly have made a more encouraging start to his career on the adult pro circuit.

After winning three matches in the US Junior Open in early September, Barry has taken an impressive six scalps in his first two tournaments at senior level.

The Limerick prospect made his initial sortie into the adult ranks in last week’s ITF Futures tournament in Naples, where he surpassed all expectations by putting four opponents to the sword.

This week, the 18-year-old confirmed that excellent first impression by winning another two matches in another Futures tournament on Kos.

Barry’s feat in Naples was additionally commendable as he defeated two Italians holding positions in the ATP singles world rankings.

In the second round of qualifying, he overcame 1,039-ranked Francesco Borgo 6-4 4-6 7-5, while in the second round of the main draw he outgunned 711-ranked Massimo Capone 7-5 3-6 7-6 (7-2), before going on to lose 6-3 7-5 to world No 487 Federico Torresi.

Due to his two main-draw victories, Barry picked up two world ranking points, and will be placed 1,303 when the ATP list – in which 1,789 players figure – is updated on Monday.

This week, he scored straight-sets wins over Germany’s Alexandros- Ferdinandos Georgoudas and Greece’s Pier Bismpikos in the qualifying section at Kos, before losing 6-3 6-4 to 1,072-ranked Greek Charalampos Kapogiannis in the first round of the main draw.

“It was disappointing to lose to Kapogiannis, but I’ve got to be very happy with how things have gone for me on the adult circuit,” said Barry.

“It’s a big step up from the junior level to playing against many guys who have been on the senior circuit for over 10 years, and in those situations you’re at a massive disadvantage in terms of experience and guile.

“But I think I’ve made the adjustment quite comfortably, and if you’d told me a few weeks ago that I’d win six matches in my first two tournaments, I’d certainly have taken it. It’s also very satisfying to have broken into the world rankings so early on after moving up to adult level.”

Barry’s chase of world ranking points moves on next week to Adana in Turkey, followed by a tournament in Crete, beginning on October 25.

Meanwhile, Tennis Ireland CEO Des Allen will perform the honours at the official opening of a new clubhouse extension at Malahide Tennis Club on Saturday.

Allen, an active playing member of the 1,500-member north Co Dublin club, says work on the €450,000 state-of-the-art extension was completed in just six weeks.

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