Alex adds Irish Open title to trophy haul

Alex Iliev.
Alex Iliev.

Lurgan tennis club coach Alex Iliev was in top form last weekend as he won the Men’s over 40 singles at the Irish Open in Dublin.

In the semi-finals he beat Matthew McGann in two sets before going on to clinch the title with a 6/2 7/6 win over Cronan McNamara.

Alex went into the event in great form having won the Cavan Men’s Open Championships seven days earlier.

“I delighted to capture the Irish Open, said Alex. “It is the first time I have managed to win it. I won the Ulster Over 35s last year so to win in Dublin was special.”

Alex, who has been coach at Lurgan since 2004, admits the toughest part is in practice.

“I only enter a few events now and tend to train just ahead of them, but to do that I have to find players of my level and then means going to Belfast.”

Tennis is very much a seasonal sport in the local area and that is something Alex would love to see change.

“In the summer we are busy, especially with the coaching camps, but then in the winter there is very little,” he added.

“We are working hard to try and get bubbles and indoor facilities like in Belfast and other areas to allow us to extend the season to the whole year.

“We would also like to take the coaching into the schools and the club are doing their best to make that happen.”