Perry of Coral Springs, Fla., defeated Carly Gullickson of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., in Sunday’s USTA Movie Gallery Pro Classic final at Westgate Tennis Center, winning in three sets (4-6, 6-1, 6-3).
The two are close friends and roomed together this week. Perry, who is unseeded, knocked off the eighth-seeded Gullickson for her third straight win over a seeded player. She beat No. 1 Patricia Mayr in the semifinals and No. 7 Angela Haynes in the prior round.
The 24-year-old Perry was ranked No. 40 in the world in 2006, but had right knee surgery in August 2007 and missed a full year of singles play.
In 2006, she was the only American to make the round of 16 at the prestigious Wimbledon tournament.
“It’s great,” Perry said. “It gives me a lot of motivation to know that I can still go out and play at a high level of tennis. I’m pretty happy about that.”
Perry won three doubles titles last year – two with Gullickson – and a 50K singles title in Lawrenceville, Ga., last October.
Her title Sunday was in a tournament with a purse of $75,000. She pocketed $11,400 and 110 ranking points for winning the tournament and Gullickson won $6,080 with 78 ranking points.
But she started off slow, falling 6-4 in the first set as Gullickson won the last three games. Perry dominated the second set with a 6-1 win and didn’t have much trouble in the third with a 6-3 win.
“It was just really tough,” Perry said. “We were both pretty nervous. I don’t think either one of us played our game. I got some opportunities at good times and I think that’s what helped me out.”
Photo by Danny Tindell