The summer tennis season has begun with a huge amount of success for Enniskillen Tennis Club junior, Eve Callaghan.

With plans over the last couple of years to play international ranking tournaments hampered by Covid-19, Eve was more than ready to go when Belfast hosted one of these international Under-18 tournaments at the end of June.

These tournaments are notoriously difficult to even get accepted into, often with hundreds on waiting lists, and it can be almost impossible for those without a world ranking to even play.

Eve requested a wild card to play the event, and based on her national ranking and success, she was granted a wild card into the main draw.

It is every young player’s dream to win a match in an international main draw, as this gives them points and a world ranking.

With the main draw first round starting on Saturday, it was an anxious wait on Friday night to see who she would play.

Her first match was to be against the experienced number six seed, Daniela Tara Kotara, from Slovakia.

Daniela backed up her experience with a big serving and baseline game.

Eve, however, was not intimidated either by the occasion or by her opponent, and looked completely at home and did what she does best.

She dealt comfortably with all the power being thrown at her, and then used her skills to move her opponent around the court and force errors from her. Eve was relentless, and comfortably won the first set 6/2.

She started the second set the way the first set ended and took an early lead. However, her opponent wasn’t done yet, and started to come back at Eve in the middle of the set.

Despite these efforts from Daniela, Eve stayed steady and finished out the match 6/2 6/3. In that moment, local tennis history was made as Eve became a world-ranked U-18 tennis player.

Her next round was against British player, Lily Harper. The weather for this round was atrocious. After a delay of several hours, play was moved to a different venue indoors.

It was evident from the start that Eve’s opponent was much more at home on the different surface, and Lily stormed the first set 6/0.

But Eve wasn’t done, and fought all the way through the second set and was able to get several set points although, crucially they weren’t on her own serve. Lily stayed composed despite Eve’s fight-back, and won on a tie break in a match that was the longest of the round.

Although disappointed, there were many positives for Eve to take forward into her doubles matches. Partnered by fellow Ulster player Isabella Connor, they made it all the way to the semi-finals – an amazing achievement in such a competition.

With her foot firmly in the door of the international tournaments, Eve headed the following week to Naas, where another international tournament was being held.

Eve got into the qualifying draw and won all three rounds without losing a set.

In the main draw, Eve met British player, Jadesola Cole. It wasn’t to be Eve’s day as her opponent took the first set and was unstoppable despite a hard-fought comeback from Eve in the second set.

Despite the disappointment, Eve continued on to a more local event – last week’s County Armagh Junior Championships at Portadown.

Eve won her first three matches without losing a set, but it was in the final that she really hit her stride.

She played Kathryn Graw – a girl she had already played in the group stages. Eve did even better against her in the final, winning the championships with a 6/0 6/2 victory.


Her coach, Matthew McGann, was delighted that Eve was able to go from the intensity of international events to a more local tournament and still bring out her best tennis.

Eve’s success has been noticed and appreciated nationally, to such an extent that Dublin club Malahide adopted her to play for them in the Premier Dublin league this spring.

Eve played a big part in the team’s success by winning all her matches and lifting the Premier league trophy.

The Enniskillen Tennis Club is delighted to have seen a junior tennis player go from her first steps on the tennis court at summer camp in 2013 into training with coaches Louise and Matthew McGann, and then on to a world ranking.

The club wishes her all the best with the upcoming summer tournaments.