Perry Powers To Career-Biggest Title At Granite Open
Just five days after winning the British National crown
for the first time, England'sSarah-Jane Perrypowered
to the biggest international squash title of her career after upsetting
the final of theWomen's
Granite Openin Canada.
Success in theWSA
International 25event in
its fourth year at theGranite
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 championAmanda
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
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 countrywomenAlison
Massaro, ranked three and five in the world, respectively, en-route
to winning theBritish National Championshiptitle
Perry succinctly summed up her February success to her
followers on Twitter:"9
days. 8 matches. 35 games. 474 minutes. 2 titles .... AND RELAX"
Downs Champion Sobhy To Make Granite Final
giant-killing run she began last week on the other side of the Atlantic
when she defeated defending champion and top seedAmanda Sobhyin
the semi-finals of theWomen's
Granite Openat theGranite
Perry, the world No.16 from Kenilworth, arrived in Canada
later than anticipated after overcoming fellow countrywomenAlison
Massaro, ranked three and five in the world, respectively, en-route
to winning theBritish
for the first time against expectations.
Seed four in Toronto, Perry romped to a 2/0 lead over
Sobhy before the world No10 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 meetDipika
Pallikal, the third seed who survived a four-game battle with fellow
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 BritonDeon
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."
Indian Duo Set Up Surprise Granite Semi
Indian squash hierarchy will be put to the test in the
semi-finals of theWomen's
Granite Openin Canada
when the country's top two playersDipika
Chinappameet for a place
in the final of theWSA
marking its fourth year at theGranite
Seventh seed Chinappa produced the unexpected clash after
upsetting second-seeded AustralianRachael
Grinham11-1, 11-8, 11-6
in 23 minutes.
The former world number one and world champion from
Queensland was taken to five games in the opening round - just hours
after landing in Toronto after a flight from Australia - and was clearly
now feeling the effects.
"Playing Rachael is always hard,"said
Chinappa, the world No.21 from Chennai."I
felt that she didn't play her usual game today. I am quite glad to have
won in three."
Chinappa (pictured above being advised between games by
South African number oneSiyoli Waters) will now do battle with
compatriot Pallikal - with whom she made history last year by winning
India's first squash gold medal in theCommonwealth
Gameswith a sensational
and unexpected triumph in the Women's Doubles in Scotland.
The third seed, also from Chennai, was fully extended by
the No.5 seed 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 13-11 in 75 minutes.
"Really happy to win,"said
a delighted 23-year-old Pallikal later."Jen
played really well today. I knew I had to stick in there and play the
"When I was match ball down, I told myself to play the
rallies out and stay in there for as long as it takes. And that really
helped. Happy to win!"
There will be English interest in the other semi-final
where newly-crowned British National championSarah-Jane
Perrytakes on top seedAmanda
Perry, the fourth seed from Kenilworth, was taken to four
games byLine Hansenbefore
overcoming the unseeded Dane 11-5, 12-10, 9-11, 11-5.
"I started well but as the match went on Line found more
and more shots,"explained
was slotting anything I left loose!
"After she took the third, I knew I had to get back in
front and try and control the pace. Thankfully it worked and I'm really
pleased to be through to the semis."
Sobhy, the 21-year-old world No.10 from the USA who has
taken time off from her final year studies at Harvard University to
defend her Granite title, beat Malaysia'sDelia Arnold11-6,
"Happy to win in three today against Delia,"said
a strong player and put the ball away if I gave her anything loose in
"Now I play SJ tomorrow. We have never played before so
it should be a good match."
Seeds Suffer In Toronto Tests
While defending champion and favouriteAmanda
to the quarter-finals of theWomen's
Granite Openin Canada,
Chanboth crashed out of
the first round of theWSA
International 25squash event marking its fourth year at theGranite
Sixth seed Fernandes, the world No.20 from Guyana, took
the opening two games against MalaysianDelia
Arnold. But the Kuala Lumpur-born world No.28 soon recovered the
advantage, closing out the next three games to score an impressive
10-12, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 12-10 upset.
Arnold's reward is a clash with world No.10 Sobhy, the
21-year-old from the USA who took time out from her studies at Harvard
University to defend her Toronto title. Sobhy despatched New Zealand
11-1, 11-2 in just 22 minutes.
"Happy to be back at the Granite Open,"said
the young New Yorker."When
I saw it on the calendar, I knew I was going to miss that week of school
because there was no way I was going to miss this event!"
It was Danish number oneLine
Hansenwho caused the
other upset, seeing offJoey
Chan, the No.8 seed from Hong Kong, 11-9, 11-6, 4-11, 11-8.
Hansen, the world No.27 from Odense, will now face fourth
the world No.16 from England competing in her first Tour event since
winning the British National title last week against expectations.
"Joey has really good hands so I tried to give her as
little time as possible,"said
Hansen after her shock win."I
think it worked in big parts of the match. Really happy with the win and
looking forward to playing the British Champion tomorrow, aka SJ!! By
the way LOVE this event!!"
Perry was made to work hard to earn her place in the last
eight, needing 55 minutes to beat Welsh qualifierDeon
"That was tough," said 24-year-old Perry. "Deon was
really up for it and played some great squash and made it very difficult
"I love it here at Granite, so I am glad to be back but
also looking forward to some rest before tomorrow's match."
Hopes of home success on day one looked strong when
Cornettopened up a
two-game lead over second seedRachael
But the experienced Australian, a former world number one
and world champion, dug deep to claim a 9-11, 11-13, 13-11, 11-6, 11-6
victory in 55 minutes.
"I'm obviously happy to get through,"said
Grinham, the world No.12 from Queensland who stepped off the plane from
Australia only hours before the match!"Sam
really played well in the first two. I just hung in there and got the
third and then mentally the match swung my way."
Grinham will now line up against seventh seedJoshana
Chinappa, the Indian number two who joins Indian number oneDipika