Perry shoots up the world rankings after biggest win yet

Sarah-Jane Perry claimed her biggest tournament win to date by lifting the Abierto Mexicano de Raquetas event in Toluca, Mexico, last Sunday.

It capped a heady 12 months for the Kenilworth Squash Club player, whose world ranking has shot up from 82 last December to 35, with the latest success expected to help her rise even higher.

It also comes on the back of a hectic two weeks, which saw Perry lift the Pyramid International Tournament in Tuckahoe, New York, before being caught up in the chaos which followed Hurricane Sandy.

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Indeed, the first round was put back by a day in Mexico to allow several players time to arrive from the east of the United States once flights had resumed.

The condensing of the tournament meant Perry had to play her first round and quarter-final on the same day.

However, the 22-year-old’s improved conditioning paid dividends as she followed up a comfortable 11-8, 11-2, 11-7 victory over qualifier Ivonne Diaz (Mexico) with a come-from-behind 11-13, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 win over Canadian third-seed Samantha Cornett.

“I was working hard during the summer on my fitness and that proved crucial,” said Perry.

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“The matches were at 8,000ft above sea level and a year ago I wouldn’t have been able to play the matches back to back like that.”

Perry then surived a second-game blip to beat fellow England player and second seed Lauren Briggs 11-0, 8-11, 11-9, 11-3 and set up a final against top-seed Line Hansen from Denmark.

Having beaten Hansen on her path to victory in New York, the seventh seed held something of a mental advantage over her opponent and that translated itself onto the court, with Perry winning the match, which was televised live on Mexican TV, 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 13-11.

The victory - her third tournament win in four - while improving her world ranking, will also prove a huge financial boost to the former British junior champion.

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As well as rubber-stamping her elevation from development squad to the national squad status in May, which brings with it increased funding, more immediately, it will help ease the financial pressures going into next month’s World Open, which starts on December 17.

“I’ve been struggling a little,” said Perry, who supplements her funding with coaching. “So this money will pretty much help pay for my trip to the Cayman Islands next month.”

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