Madeline Perry out to net dream farewell Irish Open
Ireland's highest ranked squash player of all time, Madeline Perry, is seeking her sixth and final title at this year's GillenMarkets Irish Open.
The Banbridge woman is the No 1 seed in the women's tournament, which begins today and runs until Saturday at Dublin's Fitzwilliam Tennis Club.
It will be an emotional tournament for Perry, who recently announced she would be retiring after the event.
She reached No 3 in the world rankings in 2011 and in her glittering career has chalked up 11 tour titles and more than 120 caps for Ireland.
She won her 15th Irish National title last February and Perry was the leading player on the Irish team when they came second in Europe in 2012.
In the World team championships, she helped Ireland clinch fifth place in Cairo in 2008 and since then has helped to ensure the Irish team regularly finish in the top eight in the world.
Ranked 18th in the world aged 38, Perry will have to see off the challenge of the No 2 seed, Nicolette Fernandes of Guyana (ranked 20th in the world) and a field of players ranked just behind her such as rising star Emily Whitlock (ranked 25th) of England and Olivia Blatchford of the USA (ranked 37th) who beat Perry in last year's event. Ireland's Aisling Blake (world ranked 40th) is seeded sixth.
The men's event sees Egyptian No 1 seed Mazen Hesham challenge for his first Irish Open title. He will have to overcome last year's finalist Alan Clyne while Irish No 1 Arthur Gaskin (85th in the world) is in action after reaching the semi-finals last year.