The opening match of the 2015/16 PSA Dubai World Series Finals saw Frenchwoman Camille Serme, the number seven seed, overcome a tricky encounter with Omneya Abdel Kawy to claim the first available points and take a huge step towards securing her place in the semi-finals of the prestigious, season-ending tournament.
Competing in the shadow of the iconic Burj Khalifa Serme, who qualified in the top eight on the Road To Dubai Standings courtesy of two semi-final finishes this season, came through in straight-games in a polished performance that will bolster her hopes of ending the season on a high.
Serme countered the attacking flair and tactical nouse of Kawy to open up a commanding lead in the first before withstanding a late onslaught to take the game at the third opportunity 11-9.
The second proved to be closer as Kawy, knowing that a first round defeat would put a dent into her hopes of making the semi-finals, fought back and traded points with the Frenchwoman. But it was Serme who held on to take the second in a tie-break, after Kawy squandered two game-ball opportunites, to come through 11-9, 13-11.
“I have played the World Series Finals before but it has been a while since so it felt a little strange and quicker than normal – especially against Omneya because she plays such short rallies,” said Serme.
“It wasn't an easy win at all so I'm just really happy to come away with the victory. There's extra stress as well because you can't give anything – you have to be 100 per cent from the start. I told myself to just play as accurate and tight as I could and not give her any angles of opportunities to attack. Even though I can reach a lot of balls she can still hit winners from everywhere and in the end I got a little lucky as she hit the ball out.
“We're all so close in the rankings and we've all had a lot of very close battles over the season. I'm playing two more Egyptians so I know what to expect and I'm going to focus on my game.”
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt  Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 2-0: 11-9, 13-11 (23m)