Wednesday 18 September 2019

Drummy's hour of power secures Irish Open glory

Georgia Drummy. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Georgia Drummy. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Paddy Hickey

She faced no fewer than six break points in the opening game but, from that moment on, Georgia Drummy didn't look back as she roared to victory in the AIG Irish Women's Open Championship.

As she banished the early nerves, Drummy held serve before providing Irish tennis with a massive shot in the arm by capturing the singles title in the world ranking tournament at the Carrickmines Club.

Against top seed, Alice Robbe, from France, the 19-year-old Dubliner banished all traces of edginess as she came up trumps on a 6-1 6-2 scoreline after just 51 minutes.

And the No 5 seed's victory over Robbe - who was pushed to a third-set tie-break by Ireland's unseeded Anna Bowtell in Saturday's semi-finals - marked her second outright success in just her fourth adult world-ranking event this year, the earlier title having been claimed in Portugal in June.

After her opening game worries, Drummy, who has played in all four Junior Grand Slams, proceeded to take a firm hold on the contest, breaking Robbe in the second game before going on to build a 3-0 lead.

A second service break followed for the left-hander in the sixth game, leaving her 5-1 in front before she wrapped up the opening set after 27 minutes.

The writing seemed to be on the wall for the French player when she dropped her serve once again in the opening game of the second set.

Convert Drummy, who is based across the Atlantic - in Tennessee in the first year of a scholarship, held to love in the next game before failing to convert another two break points as Robbe held serve.

However, the Donnybrook club member quickly re-established her authority in the fourth game, holding to 30, and perhaps the shot of the match helped her to break Robbe for the fourth time to construct a 4-1 lead.

With the visiting player trailing 0-15 on her own serve, her opponent unleashed a super double-handed backhand with such blistering pace that Robbe was unable to get anywhere near it.

A hold to 15 ensued for Drummy in the next game, but after losing the first point in the seventh game, Robbe bravely won the next four points to keep herself in some degree of contention, leaving her at 5-2 adrift.

One match point passed her by but, much to the delight of the home crowd, Drummy seized her second opportunity to wrap up a superb victory.

In the men's singles final, Dutch top seed Igor Sijsling, who was pushed to a third set (6-4 5-7 6-2) by Ireland's Simon Carr in Saturday's semi-finals, overcame the No 2 seed, Britain's Ryan Peniston, on a 6-4 7-6 (10/8) margin.

Irish Independent

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