S. Sivasangari gave World No 7 Sarah-Jane Perry a few anxious moments before her gallant US Open run came to an end in the third round in Philadelphia on Monday.
England’s Perry saw Sivasangari save four match points in the fourth game before capitalising on her fifth opportunity to edge the unseeded Malaysian 10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 14-12 for a place in the quarter-finals.
“Gave everything I had on court today, but I guess it’s all about the learning process!” Sivasangari posted on Twitter and adding the hashtags of “slowly but surely” and “trust the process”. “Couldn’t be any happier to get two big upsets and getting into the top 16 of a World Series event for the first time! Onto the next one now!”
US-based Sivasangari, ranked 48th in the world, looked on her way to claiming another big scalp after beating England’a 13th-ranked Alison Waters a day earlier, when she won the first game.
Perry just edged the second and took the third game comfortably before racing to a 10-6 lead in the fourth.
But she did not count on a determined fightback by Sivasangari, who not only wiped out four match points, but also had two game point opportunities to force a deciding fifth game.
The sixth seeded Perry pulled through the tie-break after Sivasangari sent two shots into the tin but was full of praise for the 20-year-old who was playing in her first tournament in three months.
“I wasn’t where I wanted to be for most of that match, but all credit to Siva – she came out firing and played some amazing squash. In the end I just had to dig in because you never know where that’s going to get you,” said Perry.
“I think she played a good rally at 10-6 and I went passive and she kept playing well. I was a bit lucky in the tie-break really, I managed to scrape a couple of balls back and then force the error.
“I’d like to think that I have some experience but it doesn’t really look like that today. She was the one playing the controlled squash and I just had to find a way over the line.”