Madeline takes down Massaro…now it’s Waters in her first final
IRELAND’S Madeline Perry broke a run of six losing semi-finals by beating top seed Laura Massaro to set up a National Championships showdown against reigning champ Alison Waters.
Perry took down the world number two 3-1 to pull off the first big shock of the championships and afterwards couldn’t contain her delight.
“I’m 37-years-old so it’s about time I made the final,” joked Ireland’s number one.
“I thought I’d better do it before I retire, I’m proud of the fact that I’m still playing so well at my age. Today I was really focussed on staying on top, I know how dangerous Laura is so I knew I had to work hard for it,” explained Perry.
Massaro took the first game but looked nervous and unsettled. Perry re-grouped, called on her experience and rattled off the next three games to cliunch victory.
“I wasn’t very comfortable in the first round on the other courts,” said Perry, “but I felt good on here in yesterday’s match and I think I played well today. I came close to Laura a couple of weeks ago in Cleveland, so I knew I could win, but even at 7-0, 8-1 in the fourth I knew that she’s quite capable of coming back.
“I’m trying to stay calm, as I’ve got a final to play tomorrow,” added the delighted winner. “
Perry will face reigning champ Waters, who also came from a game down to beat Jenny Duncalf 3-1.
Tomorrow with be Waters’ eighth appearance in a national final, “I’ve got three titles to my name and I want more – so can’t wait for tomorrow!” she said.
“Jenny played really well,” said Waters, “she came out firing and really put me on the back foot at the start.
“In the second and third I knew I had to try to step up, volley more and put her under pressure, but then in the fourth she came back again.
“At 10-8 down I told myself I really didn’t want a fifth, so really pushed to finish it off there and then.
“I’ve got three titles to my name and I want more – so can’t wait for tomorrow!” she added.
Picture by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)