Irish Juniors and their Grand Slams

Irish Juniors and their Grand Slams

As Simon Carr sets about making his own history reaching the 3rd round of the US Open we take a look back at some achievements of former Irish juniors in Grand Slams.

The Grand Slams are the most prestigious events in junior tennis and traditionally Wimbledon was the most accessible when the national federation had the option to nominate players for the tournament. It was only in the late 80s early 90s that qualification by international ranking came into play, this meant players now had to travel the world to accumulate ranking points to be in with a chance of competing in Grand Slams.

Over the years several juniors have succeeded in qualifying directly and some have reached the second round but we have to go back 17 years to 1999 to when Stephen Nugent reached the last 16 in Wimbledon and before that in 1994 when Karen Nugent went one step further and reached the quarter-finals, this was also the year Martina Hingis won the title.

Other notable achievements that came prior to this were

In 1987 Owen Casey he reached the last 16 and was defeated by Otavia DEall (Brazil) 57 60 16

Susan Minford reached semi-finals in 1970 & the final in 1971.

Patricia O’Gorman reached the quarter-finals in 1964 losing to the ultimate winner P. Bartkowicz

Heather Flinn (nee Cole) in 1950 lost in the semi-finals to the eventual winner L. M. Cornell (GB) 75 46 62

While all four of the Grand Slam tournaments (Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open) now hold Junior events the history of junior events at the Grand Slams reaches back into the 1920s at the Australian Open but it was only in 1973 when the US Open became the final Grand Slam to introduce a junior draw.

Tomorrow evening Simon Carr will be hoping to pave the way for the next generation of Irish juniors as he continues with his campaign to make the quarter-finals of his fourth and final Grand Slam of the year.

KAREN NUGENT (Seen at the 1994 Wimbledon Tennis Championships) Photo UGL