The Irish Blind Tennis Team are celebrating a fantastic result at the IBTA’s Tournament in Spain.
The eight members of the Irish Blind Tennis team have proven themselves as the rising stars of International Blind/Vision Impaired tennis following great successes at the International Blind Tennis Association’s Championship in Alicante, Spain.
The results speak for themselves: Willem Roode came 3rd in the B3 Class where he narrowly lost the semi-final to the eventual winner Chris Bailey from Great Britain. Roode went on to win the 3rd place play off against Australian opponent Adam Fayed. In addition Roode received widespread recognition for agreeing to play a match with Singaporean Ng Jesson against whom he had previously been granted a walkover. This was a big risk for Roode. However, following a fiercely fought contest, he came out the winner.
Added to this achievement, David Nason and Roisin Dermody succeeded in reaching the quarter-finals in the main draw, while Oran O’Neill won and lost some epic and tense battles in his B1 campaign – including playing against, and taking some games from, the overall tournament winner and world no 1! Also, Johnny McInerney from Thurles, the team´s youngest player, reached the final of the B2 consolation tournament.
“What a simply great week! Performances on the courts, learning from playing at the highest level of Blind Tennis and a whole range of new contacts and relationships that have been built over the week.”said Liam O’Donohoe of Tennis Ireland. “We knew we would have an opportunity to learn from playing against tough opposition. In fact it went so much further than that as a number of players were able to bring new shots and techniques into their game for the later rounds of the tournament. These ranged from some completely new strokes which Óran O’Neill and Tina Lowe were able to bring into their B1 matches, to new techniques to use to locate themselves on the court.”
Following this week´s tournament, international friendlies have been agreed with Britain, Germany and Poland, and other countries are also interested in developing a relationship with Ireland´s blind tennis players in the future.
The future is bright for Irish Blind Tennis!