Wales’ Josh Milton inflicted a 6-2 6-4 defeat on Sam Barry in the FBD Irish Open as the top seed fell at the semi-finals stage for a second consecutive year at Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club in Dublin.
The Irish number one was nervy throughout, in a performance blighted by a succession of unforced errors.
Barry made the worst possible start to the match, losing his opening service game with a loose volley on break point.
The Limerick man was broken again in his next service game when he made a backhand error to further bolster the prospects of the world number 484.
There was an air of desperation about Barry’s play, characterised by poor shoot selection. On the other side of the set, Milton fired down a succession of huge serves and some terrific forehand winners.
The 24-year-old broke the Barry serve in the third game of the second set when his opponent made yet another unforced error, this time off the forehand wing.
The home hope altered his tactics, and a serve-volley strategy yielded some success in the latter stages of the contest, but Milton wasn’t to be denied a berth in the final.
England’s Ed Corrie will play Milton in an all-British final after recording a masterful 6-2, 6-1 win over Yannick Jankovits.
Corrie’s strong serve, assured net play and cultured backhand had the Frenchman struggling to attain a foothold in the contest from the outset. Jankovits was also forced into numerous errors by a relentlessly aggressive foe who took full advantage of the lightning fast courts in Dublin 6.
The doubles final saw top seeds Freddie Nielsen and Corrie defeat the Irish pair of David O’Hare and Peter Bothwell 6-2, 7-5.
The singles final begins at 2.30 on Saturday, free admission.