France’s World No.2 Camille Serme is feeling positive ahead of the 2017 U.S. Open Presented by Macquarie Investment Management where she aims to defend her title when the tournament takes place between October 7 – 14 at Philadelphia’s Drexel University.
The Frenchwoman finished a semi-finalist in her first tournament of the 2017/18 season at the J.P. Morgan China Squash Open and Serme admitted she was keen to get her season off to a better start than last year, when she suffered early exits at both the Al Ahram International and the Hong Kong Open.
“It was important for me to start in a better way than last year, and it’s already the case,” said the 28-year-old.
“It’s positive and I want to keep that feeling for the U.S. Open. I will be with my coach and a physio as well, I feel even more comfortable when I have my staff with me.”
Serme made history last year when she became the first Frenchwoman in history to lift the coveted U.S. Open trophy, beating World No.1 Nour El Sherbini in the final, and the World No.2 insisted she can’t wait to return.
“It was a huge honour. I can’t believe it’s been a year already – time flies! I’m looking forward to going back to Philadelphia and playing again on the beautiful court.”
The U.S. Open marked a turning point in Serme’s season last year with the Frenchwoman then going on to win the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions and Cleveland Classic tiles over the course of the season and she is looking forward to challenging once again amidst strong competition on the Women's Tour.
“It gave me a big boost, I felt more confident after the tournament last year. Especially because I beat really good players such as Laura [Massaro], Amanda [Sobhy] and Nour El Sherbini – it showed me that I could beat those girls.
“The Women’s Tour hasn’t been as strong and exciting as it is now. I like the fact that every girl has a different type of game. You have to adjust your tactic for each girl and it’s more interesting.
“You know everyone can beat everyone and it’s more fun for the spectators.”
Serme will open up against tournament wildcard Haley Mendez on day two of the main draw on October 8 and insists she is just going to take it one game at a time when it comes to the defence of her title.
“It would mean a lot to win it for the second year in a row. But I prefer to focus on each match and on what I have to do on court first because that’s when I play my best.”
The U.S. Open offers players the first chance to gain points for the World Series Standings as they bid to qualify for the season-ending PSA World Series Finals – with only the top eight players on the men’s and women’s standings earning a coveted berth at the lucrative tournament.
A men’s tournament also features in Philadelphia and sees defending champion Mohamed ElShorbagy appear in a world-class draw that also stars the likes of World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad, 2007 winner Nick Matthew and World No.5 Ali Farag.
Qualification for the 2017 U.S. Open takes place between October 5-6, while the main draw will be held between October 7-14 inside the Daskalakis Athletic Centre at Drexel University.
Action from every round of the tournament will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe Only), while the semi-finals and finals will be shown live on mainstream broadcast channels around the world, including BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.
Tickets start from $25 and can be purchased here: www.usopensquash.com/tickets
2017 U.S. Open – Women’s First Round Draw
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Mariam Metwally (EGY)
[Q] v  Victoria Lust (ENG)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v [Q]
Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) v  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
 Nicol David (MAS) v Donna Urquhart (AUS)
Joey Chan (HKG) v  Annie Au (HKG)
 Emily Whitlock (ENG) v [Q]
Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v  Laura Massaro (ENG)
 Camille Serme (FRA) v [WC] Haley Mendez (USA)
[Q] v  Joelle King (NZL)
 Olivia Blatchford (USA) v [Q]
[Q] v  Alison Waters (ENG)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [Q]
Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) v  Joshna Chinappa (IND)
 Tesni Evans (WAL) v Heba El Torky (EGY)
[Q] v  Raneem El Welily (EGY)
2017 U.S. Open – Men’s First Round Draw
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
Simon Rösner (GER) v [Q]
Cesar Salazar (MEX) v  James Willstrop (ENG)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v [Q]
Daryl Selby (ENG) v [Q]
Gregoire Marche (FRA) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
Zahed Mohamed (EGY) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)
 Ali Farag (EGY) v [Q]
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v [Q]
Alan Clyne (SCO) v [Q]
[WC] Christopher Gordon (USA) v  Fares Dessouky (EGY)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v [Q]
Max Lee (HKG) v Diego Elias (PER)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [Q]
Paul Coll (NZL) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)