Birmingham squash star Sarah-Jane Perry on the key difference that fired her to victory at Commonwealth Games
The England duo faced a tough home nations collision with Scotland’s Lisa Aitken and Georgia Adderley at the University of Birmingham but made easy work of their assignment
Sarah-Jane Perry of England competes in a women’s doubles match.
Experience proved the difference for Sarah-Jane Perry and partner Alison Waters as they made no mistake in their women’s doubles squash quarter-final in Birmingham.
The England duo faced a tough home nations collision with Scotland’s Lisa Aitken and Georgia Adderley at the University of Birmingham but made easy work of their assignment.
Birmingham native Perry, who won women’s singles bronze in a five-game epic on Wednesday, and Waters orchestrated the points well as they triumphed 2-0 (11-7 11-8).
And Perry said the pair’s doubles know-how proved integral to their success as they progressed through to the semi-finals, where they will face Rachel Arnold and Aifa Azman of Malaysia.
“We wanted to go out there and play how we like to play our doubles and find our corners. We were very aware of the weapons they possess as a doubles team,” she said.
“They are a strong pair. Doubles has come on a lot in the last eight years, countries have been focusing on it and putting a lot of work in. We knew we had to play well and we were solid.
“We kept the error count down and the winner count higher. It’s easy to lose momentum in doubles. In both games there, we were up but they got on a bit of a roll.
"We are aware of that and want to get our momentum up, then keep that going. If you have one tactic and they adapt to it, it becomes null and void. You have to have lots of different tactics.
“We were talking a lot throughout about what’s going on, where the space is, what the positioning is. It’s very different to the singles but my body’s feeling good and I feel I’m moving OK.”
Waters, 38, returned from retirement to contest her fifth and final Commonwealth Games, 20 years after her professional debut, and said their familiarity with the Scottish pair also helped.
She added: “We play them quite a bit in practice so we know how each other are going to play.
“There were some good battles on there, it was competitive and both pairs desperately wanted to win. It was a solid performance and we’re really happy to be in the semis.
“We don’t try and think too much about it, it’s just another opposition, but we’re just getting on there and we seemed to nullify their weapons and put what we wanted to do on them.”
Perry came from two games down on Wednesday to defeat New Zealand’s Joelle King for the final podium spot in the women’s singles in a classic bronze medal encounter.
The match was a re-run of the gold medal match from Gold Coast 2018 and Perry, who lost to eventual champion Gina Kennedy in the semi-finals, has been inundated with support since.
“The support has been incredible. Losing the semi-final was pretty devastating,” she said.
“I’ve said all along gold was what I was eyeing up. But I knew I had to bounce back the next day and I couldn’t have done that without the incredible support in the crowd.
“Even by my standards, that comeback (in the bronze medal match) was pretty epic. The crowd really pulled me along and I’ve had so many messages of support.
“Al (Waters) has been here the whole time. She’s been amazing, as always. We’re really good friends and it’s fun and enjoyable as well as the serious business.”
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