Friday 27 April 2018

Tennis: Barry fired up for senior circuit debut

Paddy Hickey

SAM BARRY can't wait to start competing on the professional adult circuit after pulling off three victories in the US Junior Open.

The Flushing Meadows event marked Barry's final participation on the ITF U-18 circuit, and the 18-year-old Limerick native (right) takes the first step in the transition from junior to senior level when he competes in the Futures event in Wrexham this weekend.

Because he does not possess a world ranking at adult level, Barry will have to slug it out in the qualifying section of the north Wales tournament and he will need to chalk up two victories to nail down a place in the main draw.

He envisages participating on the Futures circuit for at least 12 months, before graduating to a higher level. "This time next year, I'll assess my options regarding my future career," said Barry, who became the first player from Ireland to win a main draw match in the US Junior Open since Karen Nugent back in 1994.

After two wins in the qualifying section of the US Juniors, world No 62 Barry shocked the USA's 34-ranked Nick Chappell before bowing out to world No 3 Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina 4-6 2-6 in the second round.

"I had beaten Dzumhur in Belgium last May, and on clay, which is his best surface," said Barry.

"So, I was quite optimistic I could beat him again on a hardcourt.

"Unfortunately, I failed to push on when I was 30-15 up on his serve at 4-4 in the first set, and he held, and then broke me to take the set.

"In the second, he upped his level and gave me very few chances to get back into the match."

Meanwhile, Conor Niland is up to No 146 in the ATP rankings as a result of reaching the semi-finals of last week's ATP Challenger Tour event in St Remy de Provence.

Irish Independent

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