Madeline Perry Rallies Into $50,000 Weymuller Semis
by Rob Dinerman for

Dateline September 23rd
-- Trailing 1-0, 5-0, with her game in disarray in the wake of four unconverted first-game game-ball opportunities and her second-set deficit mounting with every passing point, second seed Madeline Perry demonstrated the resolve of the top-three WISPA player that she is by erupting on a 7-0 run, part of a 15-1 surge that formed the capstone of her 11-13 11-6 11-3 11-8 victory tonight at Heights Casino over No. 8 seed Annie Au in the quarterfinal round of the $50,000 Carol Weymuller Open.

Au, whose southpaw forehand power provides much of the impetus for her game, never led in the regulation portion of the opening frame, and in fact was forced to rally from 7-10 down to force a tiebreaker session, which she eventually won by catching a sidewall nick in the deep-left section of the court to get to 12-11, game-ball, whereupon she was able to out-maneuver Perry and nurse a forehand straight-drop with the Irish star stuck near the back wall. Buoyed by these late-game exploits, Au, who had out-lasted Emma Beddoes, 13-11 in the fourth, Thursday evening in the round of 16, dashed into the second game and knocked off the first five points, with an increasingly despondent-looking Perry frustrated enough to not even pursue a seemingly gettable Au drop shot on the fifth point.

At this stage an unusual moment occurred when the referee mistakenly read out the score as 6-0. It took Perry several tries to convince him that the score was actually 5-0, and the verbal exchange might have fired her up a bit --- what is known for sure is that the match, as noted, made an immediate and extreme turn, as Perry knocked off a backhand overhead winner when play resumed, then benefited from a pair of Au tins, one of them on a serve-return, and, before anyone in the gallery knew it, the score was knotted at 5-5, all in a matter of barely two minutes. Having an ostensibly substantial advantage wiped out so completely and, more importantly, so swiftly, definitely had an unnerving effect upon the 22-year-old Au, who was then victimized by a Perry barrage that carried all the way through the one-sided third game, a 22-4 Perry run overall from 0-5 in the second.

To her credit, Au was ready to compete again by the time the fourth game began and, although she appeared to be barely hanging on for much of that game, the first 16 points were evenly divided before Perry was finally able to run out the last three points from 8-all. The most crucial of these was the middle point, on which Au was denied a let on a well-hit and nicely directed Perry backhand rail that Au however did seem to have a chance to retrieve. That somewhat questionable call got Perry to 10-8, match-ball, and she closed the match out after a long and full-court exchange with a forehand cross-court blast that barely eluded Au’s desperate dive and died at the extreme back-left corner.

It marked the second straight night that Perry faced a much-younger opponent coming off a hard-fought fourth-set-tiebreaker noteworthy win (her first-round opponent, Dipika Pallikal, had won a Wednesday-night final-round-qualifier match over Amanda Sobhy, 12-10 in the last game); the second straight night that her underdog foe had by mid-match appeared legitimately poised for an upset win; and the second straight night in which Perry had repulsed the developing threat, imposed her formidable game, utilized her experience edge and come away with a well-deserved victory.

Linda Elriani Filed This Report On The Other Quarterfinal Action:

It was the quarter finals night of the Weymuller Open. The quarter final night is always my favorite night at tournaments because it’s usually four extremely high quality matches all on one court. A feast of great squash!

As chronicled above by Rob Dinerman, first up on the championship court was the world # 3 Madeline Perry against the young left handed world #11, Annie Au from Hong Kong.  Madeline said “I’m happy to win, I played well. I was a bit annoyed having had a game ball in the 1st and then losing it. After a bad start in the second I came back well and played disciplined squash. Once I get her behind me I was able to go short and the court opened up for me. It’ll be a tough match tomorrow whoever I play. I’ve never been in the semi’s here so glad to be there.”

Second on court was French world # 8 Camille Serme against giant killer Raneen El Weleily the world # 12 from Egypt. Camille won the 1st game 11/9 playing a very consistent game and managing to tame Raneem’s fire. A few unforced error cost Raneem the first game 11/9. Camille continued in the same vain and was steadier than Raneem in the vital points and managed to grasp the second 11/9. Raneem came into the last 3 games and obviously had decided to not shot so early and to get Camille deep and chose her moments for her amazing attacking shots. Camille started to play a little defensively and didn’t control the T the way she had at the beginning of the match. Raneem won the 3rd and 4th 11/8, 11/9. Raneem took a 6-3 lead in the fifth and Camille started to show signs of being tired and eventually Raneem won the 5th 11/9. It was fantastic match and the crowd were so excited. This was Raneem’s second 5 setter after beating world # 5 Laura Massaro last night. Raneem said to me after the match “I’m really tired!! I’m also very, very, very happy! I think that Camille played well. In the first 2 games I hit many tins and then I tried to be more patient and keep the rallies going. I think everyone back home must have been having a heart attack watching me on the live streaming! I sorry about that! This is the 3rd time I have reached a semi-final in a gold event and I really hope that I play well and hopefully win”.

Third match of the evening was between  Australian and world # 4 Rachael Grinham and fellow Aussie and world # 6, Kasey Brown. Rachael came out strong and as usual was moving effortlessly around the court picking up Kasey’s short shots and putting Kasey under a lot of pressure. Rachael won the first 11/7. Kasey found her game in the second and managed to force Rachel to the back more and control the T. Kasey’s volleys were great and Rachael started to make some unforced errors. Kasey won the second 11/8. Kasey managed to keep in front  and dominate the T really well for the remainder of the match, though Rachael’s flair and exciting squash kept us guessing as to whether she could make a come back. Kasey keep her focus and came through to win the third and fourth 11/5, 11/6. Kasey said after the match “I’m very happy. The things I’ve been working on have really come together. I concentrated really well and it’s really all due to my coach Rod Martin, who has helped add so much to my game. Tomorrow I have to play either Jenny or Joelle and it’ll be different styles but both tough matches and I’ll need to play like I did today to get through”.

The last match of the night was between defending champion and world #2 Jenny Duncalf and world # 13 from New Zealand, Joelle King, who took out the world # 7 yesterday. Jenny started off a little slow but very soon found her groove and was very much in control of the match. Joelle kept trying to attack Jenny deep with hard hit lengths and take time away from Jenny but she couldn’t do this consistently enough to stop Jenny taking control. Jenny hit an array of wonderful drops and along with some very effective holds Jenny won the match 11/8, 11/4. 11/6. Jenny said after “I enjoyed tonight. I felt like I was controlling the ball a lot better than last night. My shots were going in and my hold were working. I was trying to vary my play and mix it up and not get caught up in hard hitting. It’s usually a tough match with Kasey so I hope to play well again. I’m looking forward to being in the semi’s and also the earlier start time!”.

We all look forward to some more amazing women’s squash tomorrow afternoon at 4.00pm and 5.00pm. Jenny and Kasey played in the semi-finals last year so we’ll see who gets through to the final this time. We’ll also see if Raneem can take another scalp of a higher ranked player to reach the final.  I  look forward to seeing you all again soon and finding out!

Quarterfinal Results, $50,000 WISPA Carol Weymuller Open, Brooklyn NY

 Madeline Perry beat Annie Au 11/13, 11/6, 11/3. 11/8.

 Raneem El Weleily beat Camille Serme  9/11, 9/11, 11/8, 11/9, 11/9,

 Kasey Brown beat Rachael Grinham  7/11, 11/8, 11/5, 11/6.

 Jenny Duncalf beat Joelle King 11/8, 11/4, 11/6.

Tonight's Semifinal Matchups:

4.00pm Raneem El Weleily  V Madeline Perry

5.00pm Jenny Duncalf V Kasey Brown
Raneem El Weleily

Rodney Martin, Amelia Pittock and her son Jackson

Kasey Brown



Jenny Duncalf
Madeline Perry

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