21 Apr Ireland enjoy successful opening day at Fed Cup 2009
Garry Cahill’s young charges opened their 2009 Fed Cup campaign in style today (21st April) with a convincing 3-0 win over Algeria on day one of the Euro/Africa Zone Group III event. The Fed Cup Captain will be delighted with the perfomances that he got from his young players as three of the four team members were making their Fed Cup debuts against the Algerians today.
Amy Bowtell opened the days proceedings for the Irish when she came up against the Algerian No. 2 Amira Benaissa. Bowtell was making her Fed Cup debut for Ireland and the scale and pressure of the event did appear to overwhelm the 15 year-old in the first set as Benaissa grabbed the first set, easily winning 6-1. Amy didn’t let her slow start affect her and quickly settled into her stride in the second set tying the match at one set apiece by 6-2. Amy then saw her chance to record her first victory on the Fed Cup stage and stormed through the third set comfortably beating the 19 year-old Algerian 6-1, coming out on top in three sets 1-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Bowtell’s victory was Ireland’s platform to go into the second rubber of the day with the chance to wrap up the tie. Irish No.1 player Rachael Dillon faced Yasmine Alkema and was rarely troubled by the 18 year-old Algerian and came out on top in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 to ensure that Ireland recorded an excellent win over the North Africans on opening day.
Ireland’s doubles pair, Jenny Claffey and Lynsey McCullough, completed the days proceedings with another comfortable win over the Algerian duo of Fatima Bouabdallah and Assia Halo. The straight sets scoreline of 6-0, 6-3 belied the Irish pairing’s debut at senior international level.
Day two will see Ireland face up to Euro/Africa Zone Group III favourites Greece tomorrow which is certain to prove a tougher test for the young Irish team.