Thursday 22 February 2018

Tennis: McGee takes positives from Open near miss

Paddy Hickey

JAMES McGEE is upbeat about his future despite blowing his victory chances in the semi-final of the Green Property Irish Men's Open.

The 23-year-old Dubliner failed to take advantage of two break points when leading subsequent champion Daniel Cox 6-5 in the third set before losing 6-0 1-6 7-6 (4/7) at the Fitzwilliam Club on Friday.

"Of course, I'm disappointed that I didn't at least make the final, but it still was a very encouraging week for me," said McGee. "Prior to the semi-final, I had three very good wins, and that will stand me in good stead over the coming weeks."

The Castleknock man continues the chase for world ranking points in next week's ITF Futures hard court event in Chiswick, west London.

With his world ranking position of 508, McGee is placed at No 12 in the 18-strong acceptance list of players, but, ironically, 801-ranked Cox will have to slug it out in the qualifying round in which he is the sixth listed player.

Also in the qualifying round are Irish duo Barry King and Daniel Glancy, who, in his second round Irish Open contest against Cox, won the first set 6-0 before losing in three sets.

In the Irish Open final, unseeded Cox upset the form book by scoring a 6-1 3-6 6-3 win over the No 7 seed, Andrea Falgheri of Italy, who had eliminated the No 2 seed, Slovakia's Miloslav Mecir, in the semi-finals.

It was Cox's second title on the trot after he came up trumps in last week's ITF Futures event, on grass, at Frinton-on-Sea, Essex.

Elsewhere, Andrey Golubev became the first Kazakhstan player to win an ATP tour title, beating third-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-3 7-5 in the German Open final yesterday.

The 23-year-old Golubev overwhelmed the 15th-ranked Melzer, a French Open semi-finalist, with his powerful baseline shots to claim the clay-court title.

Irish Independent

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