England’s Sarah-Jane Perry stages huge fightback to win Black Ball Open
By SEAN REUTHE – Squash Mad Correspondent
England’s World No.6 Sarah-Jane Perry completed an incredible comeback from two games down against defending champion Hania El Hammamy earlier today in Cairo, Egypt, to get her hands on the women’s CIB Black Ball Squash Open, PSA World Tour Gold trophy.
Perry’s last PSA World Tour title came back in October 2018, despite three runner-up finishes in the intervening years, and she looked set to be denied yet again after a dominant display from El Hammamy put the 20-year-old two games up and in the driving seat.
But the English player was superb from the third game onwards as she countered El Hammamy’s pace with some masterful control of the racket to halve the deficit.
The Egyptian was back in front in the fourth though as she built up two championship balls to put her within touching distance of retaining the title she won back in March when she defeated World No.1 Nour El Sherbini.
However, Perry battled on to take it on the tie-break and came back from 8-5 behind in the decider to get her hands on the 11th PSA title of her career.
“Every match this week has been a challenge in a different way,” Perry said afterwards.
“Hania’s an extremely amazing player, she’s defending champion and she’s been making every match brutal for whoever steps on court with her. Today was no different, I had some chances in the second and didn’t take them, but I knew If I kept pushing I might get a chance.
“Until the ball hit the tin in the last rally, I was focusing on what I was trying to do and not thinking about winning. I feel really good about the team I’ve got around me and I really feel like I can build on this, push on and test the top ranks of the game where I know I can go.”
El Hammamy said: “I was up 2-0 and I started playing a completely different game, I don’t know why, I was not tired. I feel that I messed it up, I am disappointed.
“Maybe I just relaxed, and all credit to Sarah-Jane, she played very well. I know I could have lost earlier in the tournament, and that I should be happy to reach the final, but I’m not satisfied to just reach the final, I feel I disappointed everybody.”
Perry takes home over $16,000 in prize winnings in what is the final women’s PSA World Tour event of 2020.
The men’s CIB Black Ball Squash Open begins tomorrow at Cairo’s Black Ball Sporting Club, while the final will be held on Friday December 18.
Women’s 2020 CIB Black Ball Squash Open, Black Ball Club, Cairo, Egypt.
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt  Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-2: 4-11, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9 (75m)
Pictures courtesy of PSA