Irish Number one Madeline Perry, at the age 34, would be considered by most people to be a veteran on the tour. Although it seems that she has other ideas, reaching as career high of number five in 2010, lifting her biggest tournament title, Perry seems to be in the best form of her life.
Back in February, Perry didn?t have the brightest start to the year, losing in the Burning River Classic quarters to Samantha Teran, in straight games. This was followed by another surprise defeat in the first round of the Chennai Open the following month to New Zealand?s Jaclyn Hawkes.
Some solid results followed in the proceeding months. A semi final place at the Caymans Island Open, falling to Jenny Duncalf and a semi final finish at the Singapore Masters, losing out in four games to Nicol David.
It took until August before Perry showed her best squash. At the new and upgraded Australian Open, featuring all the world?s best players, she marched through the draw, upending three English opponents along the way, one after the other, Laura Massaro in the quarter final, top seed Jenny Duncalf in the semi final and finally edging out Alison Waters in the final. This was Perry?s seventh career title and the biggest by far.
The following month saw Perry hit a career high of number five in the rankings.
The form continued into September and she added her eighth tour title at the Irish Open. In front of her home crowd, Perry delivered in the final, beating former World Number one Vanessa Atkinson in straight games.
A shock defeat to Raneem El Weleily in Mexico was a surprise in October. She bounced back in November though, reaching her nineteenth career final at the Dutch Open. However, playing at home for the last time inspired Vanessa Atkinson in the final and she overcome Perry in straight games.
Perry also captained her country on several occasions in 2010. She helped them to their highest ever finish at the European Team Championships, coming in fourth. She also played in the Commonwealth Games, losing a heartbreaker to Australia?s Kasey Brown in the quarter finals. After being two games up she finally succumbed 12-10 in the fifth to an inspired opponent.
Perry ended the year by winning another Irish National title.
It seems that the best could still yet be to come from Perry in 2011.
2010 tour win ? loss record: 22-10
Career titles: 8