Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-0 Emily Whitlock (WAL) 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (25m)
“I thought it was pretty good. I wasn’t really sure what to expect of myself this week and Emily has played really well against me the last couple of times, I’ve just snuck them in five. If I got a good start I wanted to keep the pressure on so I really focused on my start in every game. Even then, she came back at me with all she had, so I had to fend that off a bit.
“I was pleased that even though I made a few errors, I still played how I wanted to, I didn’t get passive, which I have done a couple of times before.
About having a baby, she said “Becky did all the hard work but little Elijah is absolutely gorgeous. I’m so thankful, it’s been quite a long journey to get to where we are, so I just wanted to relax and enjoy playing. Everyone says that when you have a kid, squash is not the main thing anymore.
“You still love it and you want to win, but it can take a bit of that pressure off. I was trying to not overthink the match today and enjoy the time I had with them before I came. He was only born on Tuesday night, so it was a pretty swift turnaround.
“He didn’t want to come on time, he was too comfy in there but he’s doing really well and I’m so proud of Becky and where we’ve got to. I just want to enjoy this and make them proud.
“Hopefully I won’t play five 70-80 minute matches again like I did [when Perry won the event in 2020]. I actually played Emily in the earlier rounds of that one as well, so hopefully that’s a good omen for this one. The level of women’s squash is just going up all the time, so I’m doing what I can, letting myself relax so I can unleash the SJ squash.”