Sam Barry progressed to the semi-finals of the FBD Irish Tennis Open at Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club today with victory over France’s Maxime Tchoutakian.
Daniel Glancy, the other Irishman in the quarter-finals, had his match against Tom Farquharson of Great Britain postponed due to rain, with the British player leading by one game to love in the opening set.
Barry reached the last four with a 6-2 7-6 win over Tchoutakian.
The Limerick man was in complete control early on as he broke Tchoutakian in the third game.
He started with great tempo and rhythm to his game, with his forehand proving particularly effective along with his serve, which has played a huge role in his run to the semi-finals.
The French player also made numerous unforced errors, and appeared nervous early on, gifting the Irishman his second break with a double fault ensuring a comfortable set for Barry.
The rain arrived at one game all in the second set, causing a 40-minute delay which appeared to affect Barry’s game.
Tchoutakian, who played in the French Open Junior Grand Slam last year, improved significantly after the break in play with his crosscourt backhand proving particularly effective.
The Irish No 2 had to show great fighting spirit to stay with the Frenchman at this point and got his reward when he broke Tchoutakian’s serve in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead, again courtesy of a double fault on break point by the Frenchman.
However, Tchoutakian went on to play his best tennis of the match for the next three games, breaking Barry immediately, despite the 21-year-old having a match point.
Tchoutakian easily won his own serve to level the set at five all before breaking the Irish Davis Cup player again.
His service problems, however, came back to haunt him with another double fault on break point to Barry ensuring the set went into a tie-break.
Barry played superbly in the tie-break with some very aggressive serving and strong ground strokes winning the breaker by seven points to three.
The Irishman will play No 1 seed Albano Olivetti in tomorrow’s semi-final after the Frenchman beat Marcus Daniell 6-4 7-6.
Barry, who has yet to lose a set in the tournament, also played doubles in the tournament with Olivetti before their surprise defeat yesterday.
Olivetti’s huge serve, which has been clocked at 149mph, is his biggest asset.
In the remaining quarter-final, No 2 seed Daniel Cox of Britain reached the semi-finals with a 7-6 6-1 win over Richard Gabb.
Sam Barry (4) bt Maxime Tchoutakian 6-2 7-6
Albano Olivetti (1) bt Marcus Daniell (6) 6-4 7-6
Daniel Cox (2) bt Richard Gabb (5) 7-6 6-1
Tom Farquharson (3) vs Daniel Glancy (8) suspended due to rain