Perry downs Massaro for CIMB Singapore Masters title

Madeline Perry claimed her ninth WISPA title at the CIMB Singapore Masters this week, fighting past giant killer Laura Massaro in the final.

Perry may not have been many people’s favourite for the title at the start of week, coming into the tournament having lost in straight games to Joelle King in the first round of the CIMB Malaysian Open the previous week. However, as she has shown time and again in the last few years, at the age of 34 she is still at the top of her game.

The first round threw up few surprises and seven out of the eight seeds progressed comfortably to the quarter finals. The one upset came when qualifier Jaclyn Hawkes fought back from two games to one down to outlast Omneya Abdel Kawy after almost an hour and half on court. The first victory for Hawkes over the Egyptian.

Hawkes’ run came to an end in the quarter final as she was dispatched in straight games by Perry. Perry managed to keep in front of the tall Kiwi, not allowing her to volley and punishing her with her sharp front court game. Perry’s semi final opponent was expected to be second seed Rachael Grinham, but the former world number one was brushed aside in convincing fashion by France’s Camille Serme in just 25 minutes.

In the top half of the draw Massaro battled for over an hour to defeat Kasey Brown, ranked just one place above her. It was revenge for Massaro, having lost to Brown in the first round of the CIMB KL Open in March. World number one Nicol David eased past Hong Kong’s top player Annie Au in straight games to set up a clash with Massaro.

Serme’s high level of play in the quarter final couldn’t be repeated against Perry and the French number one committed numerous unforced errors to let Perry take control and run away to a straight game victory and secure her first final since September 2010.

Four time Champion David was expected to be Perry’s final opponent but Massaro had other ideas. The British Champion, playing error free squash, shocked everyone when she stormed back from two games down to knock out the Queen of Squash. It was David’s second loss to Massaro this year and only her second loss on tour since 2009.<

With their head to head tied at two all, the final was going to be a close run thing. With only 19 hours to recover from the previous nights win over David, Massaro was a little off the pace for the first half of the match and Perry opened up a two game lead. Massaro found her game in the third and looked to be forming a comeback for a second day in a row. Perry however was the fresher, having not dropped a game through her first three matches and she stayed ahead in the fourth as Massaro began to tire. After just over an hour of punishing play Madeline Perry grabbed victory and her second Gold level final of her career.

Perry will be pleased she’s hit top form now, as she heads into the Australian Open as defending champion.

[3] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [5] Laura Massaro (ENG) 11/7 11/8 5/11 11/9 (61m)

Semi Finals:

[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [1] Nicol David (MAS) 9/11 7/11 11/8 11/8 11/5 (85m)
[3] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [7] Camille Serme (FRA) 11/7 11/7 11/3 (44m)

Quarter Finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [8] Annie Au (HKG) 11/5 11/9 11/6 (39m)
[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [4] Kasey Brown (AUS) 11/8 7/11 11/8 11/8 (65m)
[3] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [Q] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) 11/7 11/7 11/7 (40m)
[7] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11/5 11/5 11/7 (25m)

Round One:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt Raneem El Weleily (EGY) 11/5 13/11 11/5 (25m)
[8] Annie Au (HKG) bt [Q] Natalie Grinham (NED) w/o
[4] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt w/c Pamela Chua (SIN) 11/4 11/3 11/2 (23m)
[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Donna Urquhart (AUS) 11/7 11/2 11/6 (27m)
[Q] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) bt [6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11/9 8/11 10/12 11/7 11/8 (84m)
[3] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [Q] Sarah Kippax (ENG) 11/6 11/8 11/6 (54m)<
[7] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [Q] Delia Arnold (MAS) 11/5 11/8 11/2 (24m)
[2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Joelle King (NZL) 5/11 11/2 11/9 11/3 (36m)