TENNIS CAREERS ARE TAKING OFF

DROMORE High School pupils Peter Bothwell (15)and Sam Bothwell (13) are returning to school after having enjoyed great success in their promising tennis careers during 2011.

The boys, who are recipients of support from the Mary Peters Trust, train during the week with their mother, former Wimbledon junior and Irish Federation cup player, Louise Tuff, and at weekends at the N Zone Tennis Academy in Malahide with former Irish Davis Cup players Mike and Stevie Nugent.

Whilst still only 15, Peter played at third singles, behind both current and former Davis Cup players for the Malahide Dublin Premier League team which won the 2011 Summer League.

He was rewarded with his first caps for the senior Ulster men’s team in the August interprovincial series and was undefeated for the second successive year this time at first singles, playing for Ulster in the U’18 Interprovincial series.

In individual tournament competition, Peter enjoyed his first Ulster and then first Irish U18 tournament wins and after getting wild carded into two International Tennis Federation (ITF) U18 events, earned his first tour points and world ranking which he hopes to improve upon in 2012 by travelling to European events.

Last week Peter, who had lost in the final of the U14 Irish Junior championships two years previous, fulfilled an ambition by comming back from a nervous start that saw him a set and then love-2 down in the second set to claim the Irish U16 title at Fitzwilliam in Dublin with a second and third set display of hard hitting ground strokes backed up with volley winners.

After achieving a number one Ulster and number three Irish ranking at U14 level in 2010 when still only age 12, Sam concentrated on competing in European (ETA) events in his second year at U14 in 2011 travelling as far afield as Latvia.

In ETA events Sam has reached two singles quarter finals, a singles semi final and won a doubles event. He managed a career high European singles ranking of 111.

Sam also represented Ulster as the number one player in the U14 interprovincial series. He was undefeated in his first two matches but unfortunately broke his foot before concluding the series which Ulster won.

Regrettably Sam had to withdraw from the Irish Junior Championships at Fitzwilliam where he was seeded at number one and is now also likely to miss the upcoming U14 home Internationals .