Saturday 16 December 2017

Tennis: McGee eases into last four with flourish

Paddy Hickey

DUBLINER James McGee confirmed the promise he showed in the recent Davis Cup tie against Lithuania by clinching a semi-final place in the Green Property Irish Men's Open.

McGee took a set against 134-ranked Ricardas Berankis in the Davis Cup contest against the East Europeans, and yesterday he romped to a 6-3 6-4 win over Simon Cauvard at the Fitzwilliam club.

But hopes of a double Irish presence at the penultimate stage were dashed when No 2 seed Miloslav Mecir of Slovakia recorded a 6-4 6-1 win over No 8 seed Colin O'Brien.

Unseeded Cauvard had loomed as a serious threat to No 5 seed McGee, as he upset the form book by eliminating the No 4 seed, Belgium's 493-ranked Alexandre Folie, in the opening round before ending the hopes of Irish U-18 No 1 John Morrissey in three sets in the second round.


But two breaks of serve by 509-ranked McGee in the opening set and another in the second were sufficient for the 23-year-old Castleknock man to clinch his place in the last four.

"After holding serve in the sixth game, he broke back to go 3-4, but I broke back straight away, and then served out for the set," said McGee. "In the second set, I broke him at 2-2, and then the rest of the games went with serve until the end of the match."

McGee said he was particularly pleased that he retained his composure and confidence right throughout the contest. "I didn't panic at any stage, and stayed focused right through," he said.

Things didn't go as well for O'Brien in his encounter, where Mecir chalked up two service breaks to O'Brien's one in the first set, and then the No 2 seed broke the 26-year-old Dubliner twice in the second set to qualify for the semi-finals.

"He upped his game in the second set and he's very quick around the court and never gets flustered," said O'Brien.

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Irish Independent

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