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Madeline Perry aims to bow out in glory in Irish Open final

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Madeline Perry will be enjoying a final fling in Dublin
Madeline Perry will be enjoying a final fling in Dublin

Emotional farewell for Madeline Perry as she aims to depart squash tour with a Dublin title
By DAN ZILIC – Squash Mad Correspondent in Dublin

Competing in her farewell event before retiring from the WSA World Tour, Irish squash star Madeline Perry has reached the final of the GillenMarkets Irish Open for the eighth time after beating national rival Aisling Blake in the semi-finals of the WSA Challenger 15 event at Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club in Dublin.

The pair, who have contested 11 Irish National Championship finals, battled for four games before 38-year-old Perry prevailed 7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8.

“Things have been going well,” admitted the former world No.3 after her penultimate match in the biggest squash event in her home country, in which she is competing for the 13th and final time. “I’ve just reverted back into my focussed tournament mentality so I’ve not been thinking too much more than one match at a time.

“It was a really tough match against Aisling tonight, she really took the match to me – but I responded well,” added the five-time champion. “I dug in and did what I had to do to win.”

Top seed Perry, currently ranked 18 in the world, will face second seed Nicolette Fernandes after the world No.20 from Guyana defeated Australia’s Donna Urquhart 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 in the other semi.

The match will be a repeat of the 2013 final, won by Perry.

In the men’s final, Lucas Serme of France will face Egyptian hotshot Ali Farag, who upset the number one seed Mazen Hesham by three games to one, in what was probably one of the best matches ever witnessed here in FLTC.

Gillen Markets  Irish Open:

Women’s first round:
[1] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [Q] Leonie Holt (ENG) 11-7, 11-4, 11-4
[7] Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt [Q] Cyrielle Peltier (FRA) 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6
[4] Delia Arnold (MAS) bt Laura Pomportes (FRA) 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 13-11
[6] Aisling Blake (IRL) bt [Q] Tamika Saxby (AUS) 11-7, 11-13, 11-3, 11-2
[5] Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt Lucie Fialova (CZE) 11-5, 11-7, 11-8
[3] Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt Birgit Coufal (AUT) 11-5, 11-1, 11-2
[8] Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 13-11, 11-7, 11-4
[2] Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt [Q] Nele Gilis (BEL) 12-10, 11-4, 11-8
Quarter-finals:
[1] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [7] Olivia Blatchford (USA) 11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 11-3
[6] Aisling Blake (IRL) bt [4] Delia Arnold (MAS) 15-13, 11-4, 11-3
[5] Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt [3] Emily Whitlock (ENG) 11-5, 7-11, 14-12, 13-11
[2] Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt [8] Coline Aumard (FRA) 11-9, 4-11, 11-2, 12-10
Semi-finals:
[1] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [6] Aisling Blake (IRL) 7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8
[2] Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt [5] Donna Urquhart (AUS) 11-6, 11-8, 11-8

Men’s semi-finals:
(5) Lucas Serme (France) v (Q) Paul Coll (NZ) 11-6, 11-8, 5-11, 11-4
Ali Farag (Egypt) beat (1) Mazen Hesham (Eypt) 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 

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