August 2013 Newsletter

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tennis ireland ezine

Welcome to this months eZine

August 2013

In this months ezine we chat to Irish No. 1 James McGee, look back on the success of Irish players at the recent ITF Junior events in Windsor & Donnybrook, report on James Cluskeys new career high ATP ranking  and more….

Belfast ITF Winners

Irish success at ITF Junior events

A total of 31 Irish players featured in the main draw of the inaugural Belfast City ITF Junior Tournament held at Windsor Lawn Tennis Club. Ulster player Karola Bejenaru (pictured) defeated Lauren Deegan in the Girls singles final whilst Karola teamed up with Caroline Lynch to take the doubles title.


David Gardiner and Eoin McGovern defeated the British pairing of Oakley and Recci in the Boys doubles final on a scoreline of 6-4, 6-4. 


At the ITF event the previous week in Donnybrook, 24 Irish players took to the main draw where Sam Bothwell reached the semi-finals of the Boys singles.

In the girls singles event Jenny Timotin and Ruth Copas reached the quarter finals, Ruth being defeated by the eventual winner Karola Bejenaru.

Our thanks to Donnybrook Tennis Club and Windsor Tennis Club for organising two super weeks of tennis.

View the Windsor gallery here



Cluskey achieves career high ATP ranking

Irelands No1 doubles player James Cluskey has had a hugely successful summer of tennis. He started of 2013 with a ranking of 233 and with some impressive wins on the circuit and 5 titles to his name so far this year, he has progressed through the rankings to a career high of 160. We look back on his summer so far.

James travelled to Turkey at the start of July with Fabrice Martin where they took the the Istanbul Challenger title, his first win on the ATP’s second-tier circuit.

A fortnight later he was celebrating again after a second  title, this time with Austria’s Maximilian Neuchrist at the Guimaraes Challenger in Portugal.


In mid August he continued on the Challenger series and travelled on to Russia where he reached the semi finals once again with Maximilian Meuchrist.


By the end of the month he had added a further two Futures titles to his name by winning in Belarus with Fabrice Martin and in Spain again with Maximilian Neuchrist.



When James does get some time at home in Ireland he loves to promote the game of doubles. If your Club is interested in having James host a clinic, get in touch with him through his twitter page.


Follow James’ life on the tour through his twitter page where he shares some insights into his life as a professional player.




An interview with Irish No. 1 James McGee

James McGee is 26 years old and has a current  ATP singles ranking of 254. McGee made his first appearance in the Wimbledon qualifying event earlier in the summer and just missed out on a US Open qualifying place.

In late August, he took an ITF Futures Title in Gabon.  We caught up with him to talk to him about an impressive summer of tennis so far. 

How did you first get involved in tennis?

I remember playing tennis on the road outside my house with my friends and loving it when I was around 6 or 7. I played a lot of sports growing up but I started to play more and more tennis when I was around 8 or 9. My mom brought me down to my local club, Castleknock Lawn Tennis Club and I got involved in junior coaching and tournaments. Since then, I’ve been hooked.


Are any other members of your family involved in sport?

My mom still plays a lot of tennis in Castleknock Lawn Tennis Club.

Did you have a particular tennis idol growing up?

I loved watching all the tournaments growing up and really liked watching Agassi and Sampras. I looked up to all of them but if I had to choose one player, I would probably say Agassi.


Best and worst aspects of being a professional tennis player?

Best Aspect-The Freedom. I get the chance to travel a lot, meet new people on a weekly basis and see all sorts of places across the world. I like the fact that I am my own boss and I am always learning new things on the road. I’ve made a lot of friends across the world from my travels and this is something I am very grateful for. 


Worst Aspect- Despite having a lot of freedom, it can still be very tough if you are travelling around alone, no matter where you go. Along with that, it is an extremely expensive sport with no huge financial rewards in the Future/Challenger circuits. The big money is in the ATP events but it is not easy to get there quickly- it requires a lot of work, patience, luck and good people around you to support you. 

Tell us about the toughest opponent on court that you have faced?

I’ve played a lot of top players but can’t name the toughest one. Everyone has their own strengths and qualities; sometimes the toughest opponent on the court is our own self. 


What aspect of another player’s game do you most envy?

The big guys (Isner, Karlovic, Raonic, Querrey) all have a huge advantage on serve which allows them to hold serve easier and with less energy in general. I wouldn’t mind having that type of advantage. 


What are your favourite and least favourite parts of training?

Favourite: The feeling of getting better/improving. The self-satisfaction you feel after you know in your head that you have given your best and didn’t give up. I love the feeling of progress and growth. 


Least Favourite: There are many tedious exercises that have to be done in order to stay injury free. I don’t necessarily enjoy doing them but I know they need to be done and are making me better in the long run. 


What are your hobbies away from the tennis courts?

I like to read and keep learning. I am interested in all types of subjects including psychology/philosophy/spirituality/science/business. I also write from time to time on my blog when I have some spare time. 

Finally James, what are your Goals for the next 6-9 months?

My goal is just to keep improving. I don’t set myself ranking goals as rankings tend to jump sporadically when you keep doing the right things every day. I feel I am on track to play all the Slams next year and let’s just wait and see where I am 6-9 months from now. 



Follow James on Twitter and Facebook



Level 3 coaches leading the way

A reception was held in Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club during the National Junior Championships for our newly qualified Level 3 coaches.  Each coach was presented with a Dublin crystal mounted tennis ball by the Tennis Ireland President Ann O’Connor.


The qualified coaches are:


Conor O’ Callaghan
Conor Casey
Owen Casey
John McGahon
Ben Neal
Karen Nugent
Jamie Pilkington
Daragh Rowan
Robert Shulver


Congratulations to all nine coaches and we wish them a wonderful and successful career.

To see more images from the evening please click here.

Further details on our Coaches Education courses and structure can be found here


Tennis Ireland
Dublin City University,
Glasnevin, Dublin 9

T +353 (0)1 884 4010
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