9:38 am
15 Jul 2024

Serme Scores Surprise Semi In Hurghada

2 Apr 2009

Camille Serme became the only unseeded player to reach the semi-finals of the Hurghada International Squash Championships after the 19-year-old from France upset Hong Kong's No4 seed Rebecca Chiu on the second day of quarter-final action on an all-glass court at the Sinbad Beach Resort in the men's and women's Tour event in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada.

Serme, the three-time European Junior champion from Creteil, scored her second successive upset in the women's $26,000 WISPA World Tour event with an 11-9, 11-13, 11-3, 11-6 victory over Chiu, the world No14 ranked more than 20 places higher.

"It's so nice to play here - it's huge for me to make the semis," a jubilant Serme told www.squashsite.co.uk later. "I now have to find a way to get my name printed onto the back of my shirt - I've never needed to have that before!"

Both players were struggling with their footing on the court: Chiu added: "It was getting slippier all the time. I couldn't do much in the end - I couldn't stop, and when I did stop I couldn't get started again. My ice skating skills aren't very good!

"But she played well, and she moved better than me today."

There were no further upsets for Tenille Swartz, the unseeded South African who ousted Egypt's sixth seed Engy Kheirallah in the first round in her first match since returning to the Tour after more than a year's absence following shoulder surgery.

The 21-year-old faced Australian Rachael Grinham, the world No3 seeded to win the title for a fourth time since 2004. The Cairo-based favourite won 11-3, 11-8, 13-11 in 30 minutes.

"Her experience definitely showed through there, she holds the ball so well, you have no idea of where it's going most of the time," said Swartz, currently ranked 215 in the world. "I didn't really know what to do in the beginning, but I got more into it as the match progressed.

"I'm happy with my game and how I played - I played the game I should have done against her. But well done to her!"

Two all-Egyptian affairs brought the quarter-finals of the men's $61,000 PSA World Tour event to a close. In their second Tour meeting in seven days, former world number one Amr Shabana faced his country's latest star Mohamed El Shorbagy, an 18-year-old from Alexandria who is already ranked 21 in the world.

The teenager extended the master for more than an hour before Shabana finally emerged a 12-10, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9 victor after 62 minutes.

"It's pretty tough to see the ball on there, and when you're playing someone who has no pressure on them, who keeps attacking and attacking, it's difficult," said second seed Shabana. "I thought I did well considering I couldn't see the ball and I was always on the defensive, trying to contain him all the time.

"Every time he plays the top guys, it's more experience and a learning process for him. He reminds me of myself when I was coming up, playing the top guys with no pressure on me - it's different when you're up there!"

Defending champion Ramy Ashour took one step closer to the final when he beat unseeded Tarek Momen 11-6, 11-6, 11-6. The 21-year-old from Cairo, who is also the reigning World Open champion, was pleased with his performance:

"I've been a bit lacking in rhythm, I've been trying to get back the appetite of winning, to focus more before I go on court, make sure I'm up for it, trying to get myself going as fast as I can. I know if I'm ready before I go on court I'll play well, whether I win or lose," explained the fourth seed.

"Tarek played well, he made a few errors but we both did that. I'm happy with how I played; I hope I can keep going like this without thinking too much … which is my problem."

Men's quarter-finals (lower half of draw):
[4] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (35m)
[2] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [8] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) 12-10, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9 (62m)

Women's quarter-finals (top half of draw):
[1] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Tenille Swartz (RSA) 11-3, 11-8, 13-11 (30m)
Camille Serme (FRA) bt [4] Rebecca Chiu (HKG) 11-9, 11-13, 11-3, 11-6 (35m)