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Dread Sports Series #2 2011
13-16 Oct, Sports Club/LA, Washington DC, USA, $12k
Sponsors: Squash on Fire, Gould Property Company, The SportsClub/LA and I.C.E. Physical Therapy

16-Oct, Final:
Dipika Pallikal bt Sarah-Jane Perry 11/9, 11/3, 11/7 (33m)

Pallikal Wins WISPA Dread Squash Series 2
David Keating reports

Dipika Pallikal faced her toughest tournament match in the final today, but won in three games, completing a shut out of her opponents. Sarah-Jane Perry, the unseeded surprise finalist, proved in her loss that reaching the final was no fluke.

Perry dropped two of the first three points in the match, then went on a tear, putting four winning shots out of reach of her speedy and graceful opponent as she built a 7-3 lead. The pair traded points to 9-5, then Pallikal reeled off a six point streak and closed out the game on a winning serve. It was the first time all weekend any of her opponents reached nine points in any game.

Pallikal said “it took me a while to adapt to her style, and I found I had to keep it tight and deep to avoid getting blocked” or volleyed by her six-foot tall opponent.

The rising star from India continued her run in game two, showing an impressive display of shot making with a variety of winning shots that included boasts, a cross court nick, drops and dying length as she built an 8-1 lead on the way to an easy 11-3 victory.

Perry said “I knew Dipika had great racquet skills, and if I hit anything loose, she’d make it very difficult.”

Game three delighted the crowd, as both players played nearly error free squash and displayed flair with their shots. The see-saw battle saw at least six lets on the way to a 7-7 tie. Then Pallikal again showed her brilliance on the court, winning three points before Perry erred on match ball.

After the match, Pallikal expressed satisfaction with her performance in a series of tournaments in the United States, saying it’s “been a good week and I played well.” She takes a short break back home in India before the World Open.

Perry took a high-tech approach to her match and asked her coach to watch the online streaming of the match. She powered up her laptop near the court and between games, Steve Townsend, her Kenilworth, England based coach, sent advice via an online chat.

Next stop for Perry is the Santiago Open 2011, where she is again unseeded, that starts Wednesday in Spain. She defeated the #2 seed at this tournament, so she has a good shot at making another final.

Streaming channel

Dread Sports Series #2 2011
13-16 Oct, Washington DC, USA, $11k
Sponsors: Squash on Fire, Gould Property Company, The SportsClub/LA and I.C.E. Physical Therapy
Round One
13 Oct
14 Oct
15 Oct
16 Oct
[1] Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
11/7, 11/5, 11/3 (23m)
[Q] Georgina Stoker (Eng)
[1] Dipika Pallikal
11/4, 11/3, 11/6 (27m)
[5] Sarah Cardwell
[1] Dipika Pallikal

11/3, 11/7, 11/5 (25m)

[Q] Larissa Stephenson

[1] Dipika Pallikal


Sarah-Jane Perry

[5] Sarah Cardwell (Aus)
11/7, 7/11, 12/12, 13/11 (45m)
Sabrina Sobhy (Usa)
[4] Adel Nunan (Rsa)
11/8, 11/9, 11/7 (24m)
[Q] Larissa Stephenson (Nzl)
[Q] Larissa Stephenson
11/5, 7/11, 11/5, 11/8 (27m)
[Q] Alix Younger
[8] Genevieve Lessard (Can)
11/9, 11/8, 11/7 (25m)
[Q] Alix Younger (Can)
[Q] Alex Clark (Sco)
11/7, 11/5, 8/11, 11/8 (36m)
[7] Tesni Evans (Wal)
[7] Tesni Evans
10/12, 11/9, 11/9, 14/12 (61m)
Sarah-Jane Perry
Sarah-Jane Perry

14/12, 11/9, 9/11, 5/11, 11/4 (53m)

[2] Latasha Khan
Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng)
11/4, 8/11, 11/6, 17/15 (47m)
[3] Alexandra Norman (Can)
Kristen Lange (Usa)
2/11, 8/11, 11/8, 12/10, 11/8 (41m)
[6] Celia Allamargot (Fra)
Kristen Lange
11/5, 11/6, 11/3 (21m)
[2] Latasha Khan
Niki Clement (Usa)
11/3, 11/3, 11/2 (15m)
[2] Latasha Khan (Usa)

12-Oct, Qualifying:

Alex Clark (Sco) bt Kimberley Palterman (Zim)              11/1, 11/1, 11/5 (18m)
Larissa Stephenson (Nzl) bt Majd Alkhateeb (Jor)            11/8, 11/3, 11/6 (20m)
Alix Younger (Can) bt Camille Lanier (Usa)           8/11, 11/7, 11/7, 11/7 (27m)
Georgina Stoker (Eng) v Katja Amir (Ger)                     11/9, 11/6, 11/5 (19m)

Dread Sports Series #1, 01-04 Sep

15-Oct, Semis:
Unseded Perry reaches DC final
David Keating reports

Unseeded Sarah-Jane Perry scored a huge upset today in the semis over second seed Latasha Khan in a physical five-game match filled with lets.

Perry came out hard, but Khan built leads of 5-3 and 9-6, then stalled. Perry pulled even at 10 all, with the players trading points until Perry reeled off three straight to win the first game 14-12.

Perry’s point run continued in the second game, where she took a quick 5-0 lead. Khan appeared rattled as she made an uncharacteristic five errors on the way to a 2-8 deficit. She came back to 9-10 before dropping the next point.

Game three saw Perry again build a quick 2-0 lead, but Khan came right back. The pair battled to 8-8 when Perry broke her strings, which she would do again in the next game too. After a warm up with the new racquet Khan got to game ball at 10-9, then Perry smashed a shot into the tin to give Khan her first win.

Khan appeared more focused in game four, with just three errors. Five lets were called on the way to a 2-0 Khan lead. At 7-5, Khan won four of the next five points to take game four.

The decisive game five began with both players appearing to play conservatively. At one all, both players took a long and careful rally to the backhand, but Perry finally got an opportunity and won the point. After the score was tied at four, Khan began to repeatedly tin the ball, dropping to 4-7. Perry’s attacking boast won the eighth point, and then Khan tinned again and again on the way to losing 11-4.

Perry’s win was even more remarkable as she had tough four game matches in both the round of 16 and quarterfinals, spanning a total of an hour and forty-eight minutes before today’s 53-minute battle.

After the match, Perry told me “I’ve been training really hard. Before the match my coach told me to be positive and give her credit for being the good player that [Khan] is, but play my game.”

Throughout the tournament, I noted that Perry seems to draw an extra shot of energy and determination whenever the game gets tough. In response, she told me that “at my home club I’m known for three-two matches and I don’t lose many three-two matches. So that’s always a positive point for me when I go in the fifth game.”

Perry turned pro about three months ago and she certainly made a statement here and could be a force to be reckoned with in the season ahead. Perry was the largest player in this tournament, with good power and enormous reach from the center of the court. Many players to come will likely find that disconcerting.

In the other semifinal, qualifier Larissa Stephenson, a pro in Washington DC, fell to #1 seed Dipika Pallikal in three. The supportive home crowd responded enthusiastically when she built a 6-3 lead in game two, but Pallikal closed out the game with a six point run.

Pallikal moves well on the court, and can reach far with her legs. “It looks easy,” she told me, “but it’s not.” Pallikal has set herself up well for the final, vanquishing each of her opponents in three games.

Pallikal told me “it’s great to see more juniors playing in WISPA matches,” and expressed hope that it would continue.

Streaming channel

14-Oct, Quarters:
Perry takes out Tesni in DC

The quarter-finals of the Dread Series #2 at Sports Club/LA in Washington DC saw top seeds Dipika Pallikal and Latasha Khan ease through, but both will face unexpected opposition in the semi-finals.

Pallikal beat Australian Sarah Cardwell 11/4, 11/3, 11/6 and meets Kiwi Larissa Stephenson, who beat fellow qualifier Alix Younger - on the eve of the Canadian's 19th birthday - 11/5, 7/11, 11/5, 11/8.

Khan wasted no time in beating her US compatriot Kristen Lange 11/5, 11/6, 11/3 and now meets England's Sarah-Jane Perry, who took just over an hour to upset fourth seed Tesni Evans - remarkably on the eve of the Welsh girl's 19th birthday too -  10/12, 11/9, 11/9, 14/12.

Streaming channel

13-Oct, Round One:
Top seeds safe but others suffer in DC
David Keating reports

While top seeds Dipika Pallikal and Latasha Khan today easily vanquished their opponents with surgical precision, there were upsets of the #3, #4, #6, and #8 seeds, including two by qualifiers.

The first upset was scored by qualifier Alix Younger, who beat the #8 and fellow Canadian Genevieve Lessard in three.

Hometown favorite Larissa Stephenson, a qualifier and pro at a Washington DC club, handily beat the #4 seed, South Africa’s Adel Nunan 3-0 in a crisp 24 minutes. Stephenson looked sharp and fit and appears to have a good shot at going deep in the main draw, which would delight the home crowd.

The most dramatic win came from Kristen Lange, who lost the first two games and seemed headed for a quick exit after an 11-2 thrashing in game two by France’s Celia Allamargot, the #6 seed. Yet Lange pulled herself together and jumped to a 9-3 lead in game three. Then she lost focus and four game balls before winning her first game 11-8. Lange again looked beaten at 9-6 in the fourth game, but rallied to pull ahead 10-9 before winning 12-10 and then 11-8 in the fifth.

After the match, a happy Lange confessed that she needs to work on her mental game, saying that it took her a while to “clear my mind, stop thinking and play.” She decided to go “back to basics,” use the court’s unique skidding nature to let “the ball work for you.” Lange told me she started playing the game at age 8, and it shows – she has fabulous touch, even during long rallies.

England’s Sarah-Jane Perry knocked out the #3, Canada’s Alexandra Norman, in a tight four game battle that concluded with a harrowing 17-15 win in the last game. Perry had an astonishing four match balls, and had to fend off one game ball, before putting the match away. Both women were struggling as the points wore them down, but Perry found something extra to pull out the win.

USA’s 14-year old phenom Sabrina Sobhy continues to show incredible promise on the court, pushing Australia’s Sarah Cardwell, the #5 seed, to four games. Caldwell need tie breaker wins in both games three and four to put the match away.

Qualifying Results

Streaming channel

Streaming will start with two first round matches, from approx 18.00 EST 
French Corner

Je mène 2/0, en gagnant le 2e jeu très facilement, je me relâche un peu et ne m'attend pas vraiment à ce qu'elle revienne dans le match, et finalement la roue tourne.

Je joue toujours correctement ms elle ne fait plus de fautes, bouge beaucoup mieux et moi je ne me remettrait jamais complètement dedans pour finalement perdre 3/2.

Les jambes étaient présentes, j'ai bien défendu mais tactiquement je n'y étais pas. Je manque un peu de match en ce moment je pense. Je suis actuellement en plein déménagement, je commence une nouvelle vie et j'ai accumulé pas mal de stress depuis cet été.

C'est loin d'être une excuse mais je pense qu'à un moment donné il faut admettre que tout ça m'a un peu dérouté, et que j'ai perdu quelques peu certains repères. La motivation est toujours là, l'envie aussi. C'est juste une nouvelle page qui se tourne, et maintenant que tout commence à prendre forme je vais pouvoir me stabiliser et repartir sur de bonnes bases.

Donc reprise de l'entrainement au plus vite, mais avant un pti retour rapide en France avant de partir définitivement vivre aux USA.

Prochain tournoi le Minnesota mi novembre, avec la ptite Cycy qui viendra me rejoindre.


13-Oct - French Corner
Un pti mot de DC, où a lieu le 2e Dread Squash Serie.

Nous sommes hébergées dans les suites d'un super hôtel à quelques blocks du Sports Club/LA où se déroulent les matchs.

Tout est grandeur XXL comme la plupart des choses ici, mais c'est bien agréable, d'autant plus quand on est chouchouté! :)

Je commence demain soir contre "ma roommate" une américaine en pleine progression.

Je te tiendrai au courant.


Qualifying Results

Streaming channel

Streaming will start with two first round matches, from approx 18.00 EST

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