QF:  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-1  Camille Serme (FRA) 1-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (40m)
Sorry SJ, I’m not going to take anything away from your victory but fork, that was a weird match.
Their last four encounters were all Camille, with SJ’s last victory in Windy City in 2018. And to be honest, it didn’t look good for the Gladiator when she was down 10/1 in the opener! “I was lucky to get that one” she smiled at the end …
And suddenly, the English lady starts playing while Camille stops. The Panthère shots going in the middle of the court, height her lobs – one of her trademark shots – too low, opening the volley to the tallest player of the tour, wrong timing, wrong shots, errors (giving away 6 points in the third game alone)… I do not remember Camille playing such an average match for a long time.
Then again, it’s all credit to Sarah-Jane, who came from not being to hit the ball to finding a way to take Camille on physically, and wining some great rallies by a whisker, taking the Frenchwoman by surprise really.
I tried to speak with the French lady after the match, but she was a little shadow in the dark with her towel over her head. So sad. But what a lesson from Sarah-Jane who goes from 10/1 in the first to 11/5 in the 4th, taking in the match in 40m!
I told myself after the first game that it didn’t matter what the score was and, physically, that was the best way to lose a game because there is nothing out of the tank. I know Camille is the ultimate athlete and competitor, so I just had to try and change the way I played after the first and had to play the exact opposite. Thankfully, that change paid off.
If I had a pound for every time I told myself “you can do it” today, I’d be quite rich. I just really struggled in the first, what I was trying to wasn’t working, I think the ball might have been a tiny bit heavy, I wasn’t getting the ball through and she was all over me. I just tried to get back into it and get myself going.
I’ve worked really hard in this block and I’m probably the fittest I’ve ever been, so I backed myself physically to compete with her at that higher pace. I’m feeling good and I’m really pleased that I can take on someone that physical and hold it together, so that was a real thumbs up for me.
We had a couple of practice matches last week with Joelle, and it was 1-1, so it will be a really good game. I think it’s nice that we’ve got a guaranteed non-Egyptian finalist.
I know the crowd would have loved an all-Egyptian final but I’m really glad pleased to bounce back after the last tournament and show that I’m looking to move up the rankings and compete, so I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.