#2: Sarah-Jane Perry
PERRY PLEDGES FIGHT FOR NATIONAL CROWN
Sarah-Jane Perry has
promised “one hell of a fight” for her opponents as she bids for
her first National crown in Manchester next week.
new world number 16’s pledge should be put to the ultimate test
as early as the quarter-finals, since she is expected to face
top seed Laura Massaro then.
“I’m always going to back myself,” said the joint fifth
seed when asked who she thought would win the title. “But if
it’s not me who wins, it will be someone who has to withstand
one hell of a fight from me!”
First, though, the 23-year-old from Kenilworth has to overcome
Lisa Aitken in the first round and she has played her only once
as a senior – in the first round of last year’s BSPA Grand Prix
Finals, when Perry triumphed 3/2.
“We played a few times in the juniors and once since, but it
should be a good match,” said the reigning British under-23
“I’m pretty pleased with my form at the moment. I beat two
higher-ranked players at the Tournament of Champions and was
very close to causing another upset against the world number
five [Joelle King in the Greenwich Open].”
particular delight to Perry has been the way her back has coped
with flying to the USA and back, as well as consecutive
tournaments, following two months off with two fractures in a
vertebra of her lumbar spine at the tail end of last year.
“My back was absolutely no issue before, during or after
either of the events, which was great,” she commented. “I slept
a bit funny on the plane on the way home, though, and gave
myself a stiff neck for a day or two!”
Now the seven-time WSA Tour title winner is fit and raring to go
in Manchester, where she is eager to improve on her career-best
performance of the quarter-finals.
“The Nationals are really important,” she stressed. “To be
able to say you are National Champion is a big thing, especially
when you consider the strength and depth of British squash.”