Sunday, March 3, 2024

Beddoes blows down Perry in Chicago upset

Beddoes’ first win over Irish ace in six attempts puts her in Windy City quarter-finals

Emma Beddoes plays a tight backhand against Madeleine Perry
Emma Beddoes plays a tight backhand against Madeline Perry

English qualifier Emma Beddoes pulled off her first win over Ireland’s world number seven Madeline Perry with a stunning victory at the METROsquash Windy City Open in Chicago, USA.

It was her first WSA Tour victory over Perry in six meetings over the past six years and it arrived in astonishing fashion as she upset the sixth seed in the first round of this WSA Gold 50 event at the University Club of Chicago.

Beddoes, the world number 23 from Leeds, took the opening game after fighting back from 8-6 down. But the experienced Perry, winner of her 14th Irish national title in December, regained control in the second to draw level.

Underdog Beddoes responded well in the third, however, and regained the lead.¬†“The fourth was a scorcher, everyone wondering if a qualifier could pull off a victory against a world number seven,” said event spokesman Jim Wellington. “She almost did – going up 9-5, and earning two match balls at 10-8. Stroke to Beddoes: she did!”

After the 11-9, 5-11, 11-4, 11-8 victory in 52 minutes, MC Kerry Fliss asked Beddoes what’s it looking like, moving forward: “All of the matches are going to be tough,” said 28-year-old Beddoes. “I just have to stay focused.”

Beddoes will now face fourth seed Joelle King for a place in the semi-finals. The world number five from New Zealand beat Irish wild card Aisling Blake 11-5, 11-4, 11-6.

Another upset produced an unexpected quarter-finalist when Hong Kong’s unseeded Annie Au ousted Australia’s number eight seed Kasey Brown 11-5, 11-4, 11-8.

Fliss complimented Au on taking the pace off the ball and exerting so much control: “Yes, that’s my game,” responded the 25-year-old world number 11. “I have to play like that because I’m a little bit short so I don’t have the power that some of the other players have.”

Au will now line up against event favourite Laura Massaro, the world number two from England who beat compatriot and former stable-mate Emily Whitlock, a 20-year-old qualifier, 11-7, 11-4, 11-2.

When asked about her upcoming clash with the Hong Kong left-hander, 30-year-old Massaro replied: “She beat me and a few weeks ago in Cleveland, so I’m looking forward to the rematch.”

There will be English interest in a third quarter-final when number three seed Alison Waters takes on France’s Camille Serme.

Londoner Waters defeated Hong Kong qualifier Joey Chan 11-8, 11-7, 11-5, while seventh seed Serme battled for 57 minutes to see off Egypt’s Omneya Abdel Kawy 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 12-10.

Dipika Pallikal’s bid to reach the final for the second time since 2011 was halted by Asian rival Low Wee Wern when the number five seed from Malaysia overcame the Indian number one 11-5, 8-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-6 in a hard-fought 80-minute encounter.

Wee Wern will now face Raneem El Welily, the number two seed from Egypt who ended English qualifier Sarah Kippax’s run 12-14, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7.

WSA Windy City Open Quarter-Final Draw:

[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Annie Au (HKG)
[3] Alison Waters (ENG) v [7] Camille Serme (FRA)
[4] Joelle King (NZL) v [Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG)
[2] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) v [5] Low Wee Wern (MAS)

First Round results:

[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) 3-0 [Q] Emily Whitlock (ENG) 11-7, 11-4, 11-2 (34m)
Annie Au (HKG) 3-0 [8] Kasey Brown (AUS) 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (31m)
[3] Alison Waters (ENG) 3-0 [Q] Joey Chan (HKG) 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (30m)
[7] Camille Serme (FRA) 3-1 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 12-10 (57m)
[Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG) 3-1 [6] Madeline Perry (IRL) 11-9, 5-11, 11-4, 11-8 (52m)
[4] Joelle King (NZL) 3-0 [WC] Aisling Blake (IRL) 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (24m)
[5] Low Wee Wern (MAS) 3-2 Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11-5, 8-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-6 (80m)
[2] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) 3-2 [Q] Sarah Kippax (ENG) 12-14, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7 (52m)

Pictures courtesy of Marian Kraus and Yoni Ellous 

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