Serme Stuns Grinham in Singapore

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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Quarter-final results:
[1] Nicol David (MAS)
bt [8] Annie Au (HKG) 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 (39m)
[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [6] Kasey Brown (AUS) 11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8 (65m)
[3] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [Q] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (40m)
[7] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 (25m)

Frenchwoman Camille Serme pulled off the night’s only upset at the quarter finals of the CIMB Singapore Women’s Squash Masters 2011–brushing aside World No. 3 Rachael Grinham, in straight games.

Despite lasting only 25 minutes, the match was a fascinating display for squash for fans at VivoCity, a shopping mall south of Singapore, as Grinham dug deep into her bag of tricks to try and slow her charging opponent.

After dropping the first game 11-5, Grinham started varying her game–slowing down the pace, mixing up her shots, going for the lobs–but nothing could stop Serme on the ascendancy. She was always half a step ahead and well worthy of the surprising but convincing victory.

The 22-year-old from Creteil was delighted to pick up her second win against Grinham: “I really played well today. I was surprised with the way I was getting the ball and I was feeling good physically as well, I could pick up the ball and have good and long rallies.”

As for Grinham, she was gracious in defeat: “I didn’t think I was moving very well but I wasn’t able to compete with Camille today. Even when I was winning some rallies it didn’t feel easy and she was making me work.”

“I didn’t get much sleep which could have contributed to my lack of energy tonight,” she added.

Grinham had spent the previous night keeping her sister Natalie company as 14-month-old nephew Kieran continues to be treated for high fever at a local hospital.

Serme’s reward is a semi-final meeting another opponent she’d beaten only once in her career–World No. 4 Madeline Perry.

The Irishwoman took 40 minutes to dispatch New Zealander Jaclyn Hawkes who’d fought through from the qualifiers, upsetting Egypt’s Omneya Abdel Kawy in Round 1 yesterday on route to the quarter-finals.

Said Hawkes: “I thought I had a chance but Madeline just got in front of me too much today and punished me with her good shots. She was able to dominate the rallies a lot and I wasn’t able to get in front and volley.”

The top half of the draw will see an intriguing semi-final match-up tomorrow between World No. 1 Nicol David and the player who ended her 14-month unbeaten streak back in February–Laura Massaro.

Massaro and Australia’s Kasey Brown battled for 65 minutes today–unsurprisingly the longest of the quarter-finals given the players are ranked one apart.

The Englishwoman is happy with the win over Brown: “Kasey’s ranked one above me in the world–-she’s 6th and I’m 7th–-and I lost the last match 3-1 so I’m really pleased to turn the game around.”

“I’m going to recover as well as I can and watch Nicol play against Annie and give it my best shot whoever I meet tomorrow,” Massaro added.

And she will get her shot at Nicol as the Malaysian brushed aside Annie Au 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 in 39 minutes in the evening’s final match.

Semi-final line-up:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) vs [5] Laura Massaro (ENG)
[3] Madeline Perry (IRL) vs [7] Camille Serme (FRA)

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