Women’s World No.6 Camille Serme and former World No.1 James Willstrop have been named as the PSA October Players of the Month after they rediscovered some of their best form to light up the Tour.
Serme made history by becoming the first Frenchwoman ever to lift the coveted Delaware Investments U.S. Open title as she put in a series of blistering displays in Philadelphia to capture only her second ever World Series title since - and her first since winning the British Open last year.
The 27-year-old got her tournament off to a strong start with successive 3-0 wins over Malaysia’s Delia Arnold and Hong Kong’s Annie Au before showing her mental resilience to come through a dramatic five-game thriller with 2015 champion Laura Massaro in the last eight.
Up next for the woman from Créteil was a semi-final meeting with United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy, who had the full weight of the crowd behind her as she sought to give them a home finalist.
But Serme dug in with a brilliant display to limit the charismatic American’s attacking capabilities, taking it 3-1, and she followed that up with a fine win over World No.1 Nour El Sherbini in the final to claim an emotional victory.
Serme also reached the semi-final of the Carol Weymuller Open in Brooklyn a week later, but narrowly missed out on a repeat with El Sherbini in the showpiece finale after losing out in five to Alison Waters of England.
On the Men’s Tour, Willstrop was the standout performer, beating ‘Colombian Cannonball’ Miguel Angel Rodriguez, German No.1 Simon Rösner and two-time World Junior Champion Diego Elias to reach the final of the NetSuite Open in San Francisco.
He missed out on taking a first major PSA World Tour title since the 2014 China Open after defeat to World Champion Gregory Gaultier, but returned to brilliant form in Philadelphia to secure a first World Series semi-final berth since 2014.
A hip injury and illness has prevented Willstrop – who topped the rankings for 11 months in 2012 – from being a regular contender in the latter stages of World Series tournaments but ‘The Marksman’ was in fine fettle to beat Omar Mosaad, Mohamed Abouelghar and Stephen Coppinger en route to the last four, where he was halted by eventual winner Mohamed ElShorbagy.