Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Sarah sets sights on ToC return

Perry targets Tournament of Champions comeback after fracturing vertebrae

By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Reporter

World number 17 Sarah-Jane Perry will make her return to competitive action at the Tournament of Champions in January – over three months since her 2013 campaign was cut short by a serious back injury.

The 23-year-old, who reached the quarter-finals of the Malaysian Open earlier this year, has been sidelined with two stress fractures in her lumbar spine vertebrae since September. But following her return to full training earlier this week, the England number four is raring to go again after missing two World Series events.  

The Warwickshire-based player told England Squash & Racketball: “I was gutted to find out I wasn’t going to be able to play for the remainder of 2013. I missed the biggest tournament of the year in the US Open, as well as Carol Weymuller, Monte Carlo and Hong Kong, all of which I was planning on playing.

“I had a good start to the season in Malaysia, making the quarters of a World Series for the first time, so it was frustrating to not have the chance to build on that. 

“I’ve had a few injuries, but this is the one with the longest period off court. I was pretty relaxed about it for the first couple of months, but now I’m back on court, I’m chomping at the bit to play some matches and tournaments.” 

Perry has enjoyed one of her most successful years to date and after winning three WSA titles between February and March, her rise to prominence coincided with a career-high 14th in the October world rankings.

Injury has since curtailed her momentum but with several ranking points on offer at the Tournament of Champions, Perry is already targeting a spot in the top-10.

“It’s been a long process, but I am definitely stronger from it, both physically and mentally. It’s periods like these when you realise how much you do or don’t love doing something.

“It’s such a privilege to be able to travel the world doing something you love and I can’t wait to keep pushing my limits and see where it gets me.

“Thankfully, everything is on plan to make my comeback at the Tournament of Champions in January. I haven’t played it before, but it is a lot of people’s favourite tournament, so that just adds to my excitement.”

The WSA calendar is busy after Christmas, I’m really excited for the rest of the season and hopefully I can keep pushing towards the top 10 and beyond,” added Perry.

Perry will also be joined at the year-opening event at New York’s Grand Central Terminal by former world number four Nour El Sherbini, who has been out of action since the summer.

Source: England Squash & Racketball; Pictures by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)

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