Camille flies French flag in PSA Dubai World Series after Gaultier falters

Camille flies French flag in PSA Dubai World Series after Gaultier falters
Nick Matthew in action against Simon Rosner.

Dubai - Frenchwoman saved two Match Balls in the decider to get the better of last year's runner-up Egypt's Raneem El Welily



By James Jose

Published: Thu 8 Jun 2017, 9:26 PM

Last updated: Sat 10 Jun 2017, 12:51 AM

An arduous yet prosperous season may have taken its toll on men's world No.1 Gregory Gaultier, with the Frenchman's title defence going up in smoke. But compatriot Camille Serme ensured there were no such gremlins, working her way into the women's semifinals at the season-ending PSA Dubai World Series Finals on Thursday.

In what was a gritty battle between two 28-year-olds, Camille saved two Match Balls in the decider to get the better of last year's runner-up Egypt's Raneem El Welily 11-7, 7-11, 12-10 at the Dubai Opera.

Camille, the World No.3, topped Group A after an unbeaten run of three wins, while Egypt's Nouran Gohar booked her place in the last four with a 11-7, 14-12 win over England's Alison Waters.

"I can barely realise that I've made it. I saved two Match Balls again and it was just a lucky shot at the end. Usually, it is on Raneem's side and I think you can count on one hand how many times I've beaten her. So, I'll take this one," a relieved Camille said after the game.

"It could have gone either way. It was so close and I had a different tactic plan from yesterday. I tried to fight as much as I could and try to retrieve every ball. Raneem also gets some balls back as well so I was really lucky at the end," she added.

Camille, who won the US Open and the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions, was disappointed that Gaultier couldn't make the cut but said that she will try to keep the French flag fluttering in Dubai.

"It is a shame because we never really won at the same time the whole season but he's been in amazing form over the last six months so he must be feeling tired now. I will try to do my best for the French flag tomorrow," said Camille, who had finished runners-up to Raneem in the World Junior Championship in 2007.

Meanwhile, Raneem, the first Egyptian woman to become world No.1, when she halted Nicol David's run two years ago, said: "I think I played alright, it is the best squash I played all week so I'm happy with the way I played. But somehow, I couldn't finish it off in the end. I'm upset I could make it to the semis but I think she played really well and deserved it more this time."

On the men's side, Gaultier went down to Englishman James Willstrop after having lost to Egypt's Ali Farag in the first round. Gaultier had been in sparkling form coming into the tournament, a red-hot winning streak of 27 matches in a row and having not lost at all this year. And he had topped those numbers with six Tour titles on the bounce.


More news from Sports