O'Connor and O'Dea weather storm to make main Open draw
Dublin's Sarah O'Connor and Alison O'Dea captured the headlines in the Irish Women's Open with much of the scheduled play falling foul of adverse weather conditions at Carrickmines yesterday, writes Paddy Hickey.
A member of the Malahide club, and still only 17, O'Connor turned the form book on its head in the second round of the qualifying draw when she put No 6 seed, Italy's Micol Sanna, to the sword on an emphatic 6-0, 6-2 scoreline.
And at the same stage of the competition, O'Connor's fellow northsider O'Dea, from the Sutton club, dumped out No 3 seed Nathalie Johansson from Sweden on a 6-4, 6-0 margin.
Yesterday's victories secures a place in the main draw for the two Irish players, with O'Connor taking on 16-year-old Juliana Carton, from the Donnybrook club, who received a wild card into the last-32 stage.
O'Dea will face fellow qualifier, Switzerland's Naima Karamoko, who edged Shankill's Ellie Murphy 3-6, 6-3 10/4 in the second round of the preliminary stage. Because of the adverse weather in the afternoon, only two matches in the women's main draw were completed.
Top seed Alice Robbe from France romped to a 6-0, 6-1 win over Czech opponent Laetitia Pulchartova, and fellow Czech Karolina Berankova triumphed on a decisive 6-1, 6-1 margin against Australia's Angelina Graovac.
While all of the qualifying draw matches were completed yesterday, only one main draw contest went the full distance in the Irish Men's Open, also being staged at Carrickmines.
And this battle took a predictable course, with Britain's No 2 seed Ryan Peniston ending the title dreams of top Irish boys' U-18 player Ammar Elamin from the Mullingar club on an emphatic 6-2, 6-2 scoreline.