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Sarah-Jane Perry in action

CIB Black Ball Open QFs: Perry Beats Serme

England’s Sarah-Jane Perry recovered from an inauspicious start to get the better of World No.4 Camille Serme as she earned her semi-final spot at the women’s CIB Black Ball Open.

It was a dreadful beginning to the match from Perry as she looked well off the pace and was outclassed by her French opponent, putting just a solitary point on the board as Serme took the opening game.

But it was as if a different player had walked onto court in the second game as the World No.6 put in a powerful and accurate performance to dismantle Serme by an 11-6 margin.

Perry had too much guile for Serme in the third too as she turned the match on its head and she was unwavering in a top-class fourth game performance to complete an 1-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 victory in 40 minutes to ensure she will play New Zealand’s Joelle King in the last four.

“I think because I got that lucky point at the end of the first, I think that gave me a bit of hope,” Perry said.

“I told myself after the first game that it didn’t matter what the score was and, physically, that was the best way to lose a game because there is nothing out of the tank. I know Camille is the ultimate athlete and competitor, so I just had to try and change the way I played after the first and had to play the exact opposite. Thankfully, that change paid off.

“If I had a pound for every time I told myself “you can do it” today, I’d be quite rich. I just really struggled in the first, what I was trying to wasn’t working, I think the ball might have been a tiny bit heavy, I wasn’t getting the ball through and she was all over me. I just tried to get back into it and get myself going.

“I’ve worked really hard in this block and I’m probably the fittest I’ve ever been, so I backed myself physically to compete with her at that higher pace. I’m feeling good and I’m really pleased that I can take on someone that physical and hold it together, so that was a real thumbs up for me.”

On her semi-final fixture with King, Perry said: “We had a couple of practice matches last week and it was 1-1, so it will be a really good game. I think it’s nice that we’ve got a guaranteed non-Egyptian finalist.

“I know the crowd would have loved an all-Egyptian final, but I’m really glad pleased to bounce back after the last tournament and show that I’m looking to move up the rankings and compete, so I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”

[5] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [3] Camille Serme (FRA) 3-1: 1-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (40m)

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