Thursday 18 January 2018

Tennis: O'Brien gears up for Mecir showdown

Paddy Hickey

DUBLIN'S Colin O'Brien has to prepare himself for a showdown with the son of a legend after booking a quarter-final place in the Irish Men's Open yesterday.

And by ending the hopes of Malta's Matthew Asciak on a 7-6 (7/4) 6-2 scoreline at the Fitzwilliam Club last night, O'Brien must now take on No 2 seed, Slovakia's Miloslav Mecir, if he is to make the last four of the ITF Futures world-ranking event.

Mecir's father -- also Miloslav -- was an outstanding player during the 1980s and he even captured the singles gold medal during the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

This year, Mecir Jnr has taken the scalps of two top 100 players. So, Irish No 4 O'Brien will have to be on his game if he is to derail the Slovakian.

Clearly, the Malahide left-hander will be hoping to improve on his performance in the first set against Asciak.

In the opening set against the 20-year-old, O'Brien struggled with his timing and accuracy as Asciak gave as good as he got until the home player shaded the tie-break.

Early in the second set, O'Brien began to find a decent rhythm, though, and this totally changed the complexion of the contest with the Dubliner being able to put considerably more pressure on Asciak's serve.

Consequently, O'Brien managed to break his opponent on two occasions before comfortably closing out the match.

No 5 seed James McGee also booked a place in the last eight, seeing off the challenge of American qualifier James Ludlow on a 6-3 6-2 scoreline.

However, Barry King and Daniel Glancy bowed out. After his three-hour marathon on Tuesday against Britain's Burnham Alridge, King succumbed 7-5 1-6 7-6(7/0) to Italy's No 7 seed Falgheri.

Glancy, who shocked top seed Josh Goodall on Tuesday, suffered a 1-6 6-4 6-2 defeat at the hands of Britain's Daniel Cox.

Irish Independent

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