Monday 22 January 2018

Tennis: Glancy shows true grit in narrow defeat

Paddy Hickey

DANIEL GLANCY yesterday won almost as much honour in defeat as he would have in victory in the first round of the FBD Irish Open at the Fitzwilliam Club.

Up against Albano Olivetti, who had taken the massive scalp of world No 7 Mardy Fish in the top-tier Marseille Open just five months ago, the 23-year-old Mayo man was widely expected to be blown out of the water.

But instead Glancy turned in a tremendously gritty performance against the Frenchman before the No 2 seed was eventually able to clinch a second-round place, 6-3 7-6 (7/4).

Olivetti (20), who stands 6ft 8ins and weighs 16st 5lb, is renowned for his bullet-like serve.

But for a large part of the contest his pacy and deadly accurate deliveries failed to unduly trouble Glancy, who also won a significant number of free points on his own serve.

As was to be expected, the French player settled down more quickly than the Castlebar native who, at 965, was 673 places behind his 292-ranked opponent.

Olivetti broke for a 3-1 lead in the first set and subsequently defied Glancy's best efforts to break back before wrapping up the opener.

But in the second set the home player considerably upped his game, frequently looking as accomplished a player as Olivetti, who must have entertained thoughts of being pushed to a third set before he warded off Glancy's challenge by prevailing in the tie-break.

After enduring a situation of "zero English being spoken, dodgy food and no air conditioning" while chasing world ranking points in Penza, Russia last week, defending champion James McGee was glad to be back in the familiar surrounds of Dublin 6.

However, it was not all plain sailing for the No 3 seed against an opponent 380 places below him in the world rankings.

McGee, ranked at 356, took the first set thanks to a break of serve.

But 736-ranked Mexican Manuel Sanchez, who had prepared for the Irish Open by playing three grass-court tournaments in England, held his serve throughout the second set before the Castleknock man eventually closed out the match 6-3 7-6 (7/1).

Irish Independent

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