Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-0 11-3, 11-7, 13-11 (31m)
First game was a Nadine struggling with adapting to the glasscourt. When coming from the traditional backcourt, it’s a bit of a shock to the system, and the opener was a formality for the English Gladiator.
The second was pretty close up to 6/6, 7/8, but the Tall Lady takes the following three points, 11/7, a much better length and rally building from Nadine, we could see SJ starting to make a few ‘pressure errors’.
But the third is a beauty. SJ up 4/1, 6/3. Errors are creeping in the English game, courtesy of Nadine’s lovely combination of shots, and we are back at 8/8, 9/9. Nadine has one chance to close that third, but it’s a crucial error and Sarah Jane clinches the match, 13/11 on her second attemp, 12m last game…
Beware of 'the flick' ⚠️
— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) March 3, 2023
She played really well today, she didn’t want to give me any chance, she was always in front of me, controlling the T.
I tried to move her as much as I can, but it was not enough, she was on her A game today. I wanted to keep my momentum going but I just couldn’t.
“I’m really pleased to get it done in three.
“I was trying to get out of my mind that every match I’ve played this calendar year has gone to five. I didn’t want to do that again, so I was so pumped to win that third at all. I feel like in training I’ve been playing some really good squash and I’ve been moving well and feeling good physically, but I’ve not shown that in my matches.
“Firstly I wanted to show my coach I can get out of the blocks and I’m not a sloth in the first game all the time, so I think he’ll be pleased with that first game in particular. I just wanted to play the squash that I enjoy playing again. There is something about Black Ball that brings back great memories for me, so it’s a really good place to try and spark myself up for the rest of the season.
“I’ve reflected a lot with my team over the last few months and I feel renewed and reinvigorated with a lot more clarity in mind going forward, so thanks to my team who have been there for me and have helped me reignite my passion and energy for the squash.
“The strength in depth in the women’s game is better than it’s ever been and it’s an absolute dog fight in every match. That’s why you haven’t seen many one-sided matches at all, especially in these 24-draw Gold events. There aren’t many places in the rankings between the players or the levels.
“If any of the top players drop their levels, there is a hoard of women behind them snapping at their heels and ready to take them on. You have to be sharp and ready and play close to your best to beat anyone.”[/su_quote]