Domestic tennis getting time to shine at Irish Open

Sinead Lohan makes it to final but loses out to Britain’s Jodie Burrage at Fitzwilliam

With two Irish players Sam Barry and Simon Carr making the semifinals of the men's Futures event, and Irish number one Sinead Lohan the final at the AIG Irish Open at Fitzwilliam, it was a promising week for Irish tennis.

Lohan, currently at college in the University of Miami, went into her final with Jodie Burrage suffering from a stomach problem that had been with her for some weeks.

The injury hampered her serving but with Burrage also complaining about an injured wrist that she hurt when she fell earlier in the week, the English teenager’s 7-5 (4), 6-4 win came after service games on both sides throughout the match were handed over at will.

However, Lohan won in Portugal at a Futures event last month and made a quarterfinal in Spain since then. The student will now rest before returning to the US on August 17th. The college stint of the Tramore 22-year-old ends next year when her plans are to play more tournament tennis.


In the end it was the power of Burrage that won her the game. Her forehand and serve were big, although inconsistent and she could have made the match shorter had she put away some simple open court shots.

Hand over her serve

Ranked at 909 Lohan hung in and when she lost to love for 5-3 to in the first set hand over her serve for the second time, it seemed than Burrage would tidy up.

But Lohan made the most of her opponent’s nerves and bravely fought back, broke Burrage and found herself serving for the set at 6-5.

However, the Irish girl couldn’t close it out, a backhand return finding the net for 6-6 sending the match into a tiebreak.

When Burrage then sped to a 5-1 lead in the tiebreak there was no way back with the 18-year-old from London taking the set 7-5 (4).

Although Burrage was knocking down some aces, the second set was again a serving quicksand. Lohan held service in the first game but the next four games all went against the server, Lohan then dropping serve in the sixth game for 3-4.

Burrage finally found some consistency and served out the match at 5-4, Lohan’s forehand return finding the next on match point.

In the men's decider, Switzerland's Adrien Bossel battled back from a set down to beat American Peter Kobelt. Unlike at Wimbledon tiebreaks are permitted in the final set, and Bossel won that shootout 3-6, 6-4, 7-6.

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times