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Perry meets Pallikal in Granite showdown

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Sarah-Jane Perry (left) is in a fine run of form
Sarah-Jane Perry (left) is in a fine run of form

Perry maintains Manchester momentum to reach Toronto final
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent

England’s Sarah-Jane Perry continued the giant-killing run she began last week on the other side of the Atlantic when she defeated defending champion and top seed Amanda Sobhy in the semi-finals of the Women’s Granite Open at the Granite Club in Toronto.

Perry, the world No.16 from Kenilworth, arrived in Canada later than anticipated after overcoming Alison Waters and Laura Massaro, ranked three and five in the world, en-route to winning the British National Championship title for the first time.

Seed four in Toronto, Perry romped to a 2-0 lead over Sobhy before the world No.10 fought back to draw level.

But the 24-year-old English underdog – in her maiden meeting with US number one Sobhy – dug deep to regain the initiative before closing out the match 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 11-6.

“Unfortunately lost out 3-2 to a solid @SJPerry15,” tweeted Sobhy later. “Fought well to come back from 2-0 down, but lost juice in the end. Fun match to play tho”

Perry progresses to meet Dipika Pallikal, the third seed who survived a four-game battle with fellow Indian Joshana Chinappa, winning 11-13, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9.

Perry, the 2013 Granite Open champion, was delighted with her continuing success in Toronto: “Really happy to be through to the final after a few tough matches. Looking forward to the final.

“It’s been a while since I last played Dipika so it should be interesting. I will definitely be having a couple of days of well-deserved rest afterwards.”

Perry was given a stern test in her opening match in the event – needing almost an hour to see off fellow Briton Deon Saffery, the world No.45 from Wales.

“That was a tough first match,” Perry recalled. “It was always going to be after only arriving late on Monday but Deon came out firing, making it very difficult for me. She didn’t let up the whole match and I was chuffed to be able to push through against such a tough opponent who was playing well.

“Everyone keeps reminding me I’m British Champion, which feels great but I’ve got a job to do here and a really tough match ahead of me in the next round so I’m just keeping my focus on that for now.”

Women’s Granite Open, Toronto, Canada

 Semi-finals:

[4] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [1] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 11-6
[3] Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt [7] Joshana Chinappa (IND) 11-13, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9

 

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