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Sarah-Jane Perry

Black Ball Open RD2: Perry on Form Against Whitlock

England’s World No.7 Sarah-Jane Perry booked a third round place at the CIB Black Ball Squash Open thanks to a straight-games victory over compatriot Emily Whitlock.

The head-to-head record was weighted in Perry’s favour, with the tall Englishwoman taking the last three meetings against her compatriot, and Perry ensured she kept that 100 per cent record with a dominant performance in Cairo.

Today proved to be straightforward for higher seeded Perry, who reached the semi-finals at the Windy City Open last week, as she eased into a one-game lead by an 11-3 margin, before Whitlock began to fight back more in the second and third game.

However, it was not enough to stop Perry, who punished the World No.25 with her accurate hitting to take an 11-3, 11-7, 11-6 victory and set up a last 16 clash with Belgium’s Nele Gilis.

“Last time I played Emily it was best of three,” said Perry afterwards.

“And I had a bit of a sluggish start and she was firing on all cylinders, so I tried to take that attitude into today and come out almost as if it was a best of three and back myself physically that way and make sure that I’m going from the start. I like the best of three, but best of five works best in these events.

“It’s a bit like a boxing title. You always have to defend your title, and today I wanted to prove that I am the British Number One.

“I thought my first game was fine, we got to 3-3 and then I was able to hit the ball pretty well I thought. In the third, there were a few too many errors, and only one of them was the right shot. But I’m pretty pleased as I have been working on staying focused until the end of games and this is my first 3-0 without tie-breaks for a very long time.

“I’ve got to two finals in the last couple of months, they were at Bronze level, so really I would like to push on and I reached the semi-finals last week in Chicago, so I would really like to win a title before the end of the season.”

Result:
[7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Emily Whitlock (ENG) 3-0: 11-3, 11-7, 11-6 (26m)

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