England’s World No.7 Sarah-Jane Perry is through to the last four of the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family after overcoming a tough test from Egypt’s Rowan Elaraby, who had already beaten defending champion Nour El Tayeb earlier in the tournament.
The pair had only met once before on the PSA World Tour, with Perry winning in the second round at the El Gouna International Squash Open last April. It was the Egyptian that started the stronger of the two in this one, taking a 7-4 lead in the first game.
However, it was the Englishwoman that came through to take the first game, as she played some great combinations. The second stayed tight in the early stages, but it was the 19-year-old who took it to level the match, winning six straight points to win it 11-5.
The up-and-down nature of the match continued in the third game, as both players saved multiple game balls. Elaraby led 10-7, but Perry saved three game balls to send it to a tie-break. The Egyptian then saved two game balls in the ‘breaker’ but the World No.7 capitalised on the third, to move into the lead in the match for a second time.
Perry started the fourth the stronger, and seemed to have Elaraby rattled in the early running, but she bounced back to win eight straight points, en route to sending the match into a deciding game.
The fifth game ebbed and flowed between the two players, but it was the gentle giant, Sarah-Jane Perry, that eventually took the victory after 65 minutes of squash, winning in five for the second day running. She will now play either Camille Serme or Nour El Sherbini in the semi-finals on Tuesday evening.
“Can I just win 3-0 sometime please? We have only played once before but she is an absolute fighter and she has been having some amazing results so she is not under the radar or anything like that.
“She has been playing amazing squash so I knew I couldn’t take her lightly today. I thought I played better than yesterday but still not quite where I want to be. To come out with a win over such a great opponent is the main thing.
“Anytime I switched off for even a split second, she seemed to automatically rip a boast round. She has great awareness of where you are on the court, so I am sure that was the second of many battles.
“I have had some good performances this year, but not necessarily managed to finish the matches with a good performance. I am waiting for it to all fall into place, so hopefully that will be tomorrow!”
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-2: 11-8, 5-11, 14-12, 9-11, 11-7 (65m)