Monday 22 January 2018

Tennis: Sibling rivalry goes distance

Underdog Ciaran Fitzgerald pushed his big brother Niall all the way in the men’s singles semi-finals at the National Indoors Championships.

Niall (20) went into the family battle between the Greystones pair as a strong favourite at David Lloyd Riverview last night, with his US collegiate circuit experience perceived as a huge plus for him.

But 18-year-old Ciaran’s outstanding play meant Notre Dame University student Niall had to remain on court for a marathon three hours before prevailing 4-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-4.

An upset did materialise in the second men’s singles semi-final when Georgia native Lazare Kukhalashvili overcame No 2 seed John Morrissey 7-5 6-1 after two hours and one minute.

In the women’s singles semifinals, defending Rachael Dillon defeated Fed Cup team-mate Jenny Claffey 6-4 0-6 7-6 (9/7).

In the final, the top-seeded Donnybrook player will face the No 2 seed, Tramore’s Sinead Lohan, who ended the title hopes of Naas’ Grainne O’Neill on an emphatic 6-3 6-1 margin after one hour and and 39 minutes

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