Best of British as Sarah-Jane Perry beats Dipika Pallikal to gain biggest career success
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
Just five days after winning the British National crown for the first time, England’s Sarah-Jane Perry powered to the biggest international squash title of her career after upsetting India’s Dipika Pallikal in the final of the Women’s Granite Open in Canada.
Success in the WSA International 25 event in its fourth year at the Granite Club in Toronto marks the 24-year-old from Kenilworth’s eighth WSA World Tour title – and her first ever win over Pallikal, the world No.13 from Chennai, in three meetings since October 2011.
Fourth seed Perry, the world No.16, made it to her 11th Tour final after overcoming top seed and defending champion Amanda Sobhy – ranked six places higher – in the semi-finals.
But it was Pallikal who had the upper hand in the opening game, with Perry making too many unforced errors. The English underdog corrected this in the second, pulling away from six-all to level the match.
Perry maintained the momentum in the third, racing to a 6-2 lead. But 23-year-old Pallikal fought back to level at 10-10, before Perry clinched the game 12-10.
Pallikal twice led in the fourth at 6-5 and 7-6 – but the Indian number one was unable to fend off Perry, who took five points in a row on the way to her 8-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-7 triumph, and her second Granite Open title since 2013.
“I’m thrilled to win my second Granite title,” exclaimed the jubilant champion. “I love it here and it seems to make me play well. A fantastic tournament as always and I’m already looking forward to coming back next year.
“It’s been a tough couple of weeks – I’m looking forward to a few days off now before Chicago!”
Last week in England, Perry overcame fellow countrywomen Alison Waters and Laura Massaro, ranked three and five in the world, respectively, en-route to winning the British National Championship title against expectations.
Perry succinctly summed up her February success to her followers on Twitter: “9 days. 8 matches. 35 games. 474 minutes. 2 titles …. AND RELAX”
Women’s Granite Open, Toronto, Canada
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt  Dipika Pallikal (IND) 8-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-7
Picture courtesy of WSA