The AIG Irish Open took place at Carrickmines Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club from July 29th – August 4th and proved to be a great success. Tennis Ireland were delighted with the attendance numbers during the week plus the singles finals (broadcast live on TG4) attracted double the TV audience share compared to 2018.
This reflected the quality of the entrants this year and the strong Irish performance in both the doubles and singles of the Men’s and Women’s Events – culminating with two Irish Winners.
The finals were played across the Saturday and Sunday; with the Doubles Final and Singles Semi-finals being played on the Saturday.
The spectators were treated to some excellent tennis all week with lots of local interest leading to the strong Irish presence at the business end of the tournament.
The weekend got off to a great start as Georgia Drummy powered her way to the Women’s Singles Final. The local audience were hoping for an all Irish affair as Anna Bowtell looked to join Georgia in the final as she pushed the Number One seed, Alice Robbe from France, all the way before losing in three tight sets.
Similarly, in the Men’s event, Irish Number One Simon Carr came very close to upsetting the Men’s number one seed, Igor Sijsling – who has a career high ranking of 52 on the ATP and who reached the final of the Australian Open in 2014 – before losing out in 3 long sets. The Number One seed went on to show his class in a very professional performance in the final, using his excellent serve and groundstrokes to hold off the number two seed, Ryan Peniston (GBR), 6/4 7/6.
In the Women’s Doubles, Georgia Drummy and Karolina Berankova (CZE) reached the final before losing to top seeds Karola Bejenaru (ROU) who is based in Ireland and competes for Ulster, and her partner Lisa Ponomar (GER). In the Men’s event, local player Julian Bradley went one step further with his partner and former college roommate Jack Findel-Hawkins (GBR), by winning the title 6/2, 7/5 over second seeds Ben Jones (GBR) and Joshua Paris (GBR).
Georgia’s disappointment however would soon prove to be short lived as the eagerly awaited ladies final saw Georgia face top seed, Alice Robbe (FRA).
Georgia showed tremendous character to overcome nerves and 6 break points in the first game before settling into the match. Georgia then very much got into her match rhythm and started to overpower the number one seed.
Much to the local crowd’s delight, Georgia hit a number of very impressive winners on her way to an emphatic straight sets victory 6/1 6/2 to cap off a Sijsling week of great tennis.