World No.2 Camille Serme continued her unbeaten start to 2017 after she
mounted a superb comeback from two games down to retain her Cleveland
Classic title at the expense of England’s former World No.3 Alison
Waters in Pepper Pike.
Serme, the 27-year-old from Créteil, has been in scintillating form over
the past few months, with victories at the Delaware Investments U.S.
Open and J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions cementing her status as the
form player on the Women’s Tour.
Serme surged through to the final without dropping a solitary game, with
Egyptian qualifier Nadine Shahin, number eight seed Tesni Evans and
World No.8 Sarah-Jane Perry all falling by the wayside as the rampant
Frenchwoman went on to set up a repeat of the 2016 final with Waters,
who was the only player to have beaten Serme in the latter’s 16 previous
matches coming into the final.
Waters looked to be set to get the better of her opponent once more
after going two games ahead courtesy of some disciplined length hitting,
putting the current World No.10 on the cusp of a first PSA World Tour
title since the 2014 Carol Weymuller Open.
But Serme responded in the third by attacking at the front of the court
on the backhand side and, after winning it by an 11-7 margin, she ground
out a victory in the fourth to level the scores and set up a dramatic
With the match edging towards its conclusion, both players played an
attritional brand of squash with neither competitor giving many loose
shots away as they sought to gain the upper hand. But it was Serme who
changed up her game intelligently, incorporating the lob to great effect
as she closed out a 10-12, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 victory to lift her
third PSA World Tour title in her last four tournaments.
Serme and Waters will be in action at the upcoming Windy City Open
presented by Guggenheim Partners and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company,
which will be shown live on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player between
February 23 - March 1.
The 2017 Cleveland Classic, PSA W50 tournament will see top seeds
Camille Serme and Alison Waters line-up in a repeat of the 2016 final
after both players powered through the field to set up a title decider.
Defending champion Serme, 27, has reinforced her credentials as one of
the world’s leading players in recent months, with her J.P. Morgan
Tournament of Champions and Delaware Investments U.S. Open title wins
seeing her surge back into the world’s top five after a six-month
The World No.2’s red-hot form shows no signs of abating at present as
she failed to drop a game en route to the final, with a routine win over
Egyptian qualifier Nadine Shahin leading on to a superb straight games
victory over World No.21 Tesni Evans.
Tournament of Champions semi-finalist Sarah-Jane Perry awaited Serme in
the last four, but the Frenchwoman prevailed by narrow margins in all
three games to vanquish her in-form opponent
Waters, meanwhile, will look to avenge her defeat to Serme in the final
of last year’s tournament, with the 32-year-old World No.10 claiming
wins over home hope Olivia Blatchford, World No.13 Nour El Tayeb and
England’s Emily Whitlock to reach the final.
Waters did win the last meeting between the pair, coming out on top
during a five-game battle in the semi-final stage of October’s Carol
The curtain came down on the qualification stage of the 2017 Cleveland
Classic, PSA W50 tournament as Egyptian duo Nadine Shahin and Hania El
Hammamy sealed their places in the main draw.
Shahin, the World No.28 from Cairo, is appearing at her first PSA World
Tour event of the year and followed up her bye in round one with a
comfortable victory over Australia’s Tamika Saxby, winning 11-8, 11-8,
Up next for Shahin is a difficult first round against defending champion
Camille Serme, with the World No.2 in red-hot form after winning both
the Delaware Investments U.S. Open and J.P. Morgan Tournament of
Champions titles in recent months.
Shahin will be joined in the main draw by compatriot El Hammamy after
she cruised to a straight games win over fellow Egyptian Mayar Hany.
El Hammamy’s reward is a round one clash with another Egyptian, World
No.13 Nour El Tayeb, while England’s Fiona Moverley and Canada’s Hollie
Naughton are also through to the next stage of the tournament courtesy
of respective wins over Rachael Chadwick and Sarah Cardwell.
Moverley – who takes the wildcard spot for next month’s prestigious
Allam British Open – is pitted against Welsh World No.21 Tesni Evans,
while Naughton squares off against Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa.
World No.5 Laura Massaro has withdrawn from the 2017 Cleveland Classic
due to an elbow injury.
The former World No.1 was seeded to meet World No.2 Camille Serme in the
final in what would have been a repeat of last month's J.P. Morgan
Tournament of Champions title-decider but suffered the injury en route
to winning a fourth British National title at the weekend.
Compatriot and World No.10 Alison Waters has moved up to replace Massaro
as the No.2 seed for the tournament with Welshwoman Tesni Evans taking
the last seeded spot.
American Olivia Blatchford moves into the main draw and the World No.26
will no doubt be looking to take advantage of the home crowd and cause
an upset as she takes on Waters.