Au Stuns Serme As Perry Downs King
Hong Kong’s Annie Au opened up the third day of play at the 2018 Oracle NetSuite Open with an upset victory over tournament number three seed Camille Serme that light up the court at San Francisco’s Bay Club, which was shortly followed by the exit of tournament number two seed Joelle King to defending champion Sarah-Jane Perry.
Up against Serme, whom she hadn’t beaten since 2011, Au continued to play the type of relaxed and composed squash that propelled her to victories over the likes of Amanda Sobhy and World No.1 Nour ElSherbini during the past month as she countered Serme’s physicality with intelligent attacking play and pace variation.
Au twice game from a game behind to force the match into a fifth, where the pressure and expectation to meet seeding seemed to play on Serme’s mind, with Au playing relaxed squash and profiting from error’s from the racket of the French World No.5 to see out the win.
“I’m feeling really happy – its been long time since I beat her,” said Au. “She’s been playing very well over the last few years so I’m very happy with my performance today.
“We had the Asian Games this summer, which is a very important event for Hong Kong, so I think that has helped me start the season in good form. I knew today I had to patient and that there would be a lot of long rallies. But I tried to relax and just go for my shots when there was an opening.
“There was no pressure on me and I could see she was tense so I tried to make the most of it. I’m very excited now to have the chance to play on the glass court here. It’s an amazing location so I’m looking forward to it”
Perry celebrates a winning shot against King
2017 champion Perry meanwhile came from a game down to overthrow second seed King.
The New Zealand World No.4 was on fire during the first game and looked to be en route to doubling her lead before Perry mounted a huge comeback, saving multiple game balls, to overturning the momentum to level the scores.
And she continued to enjoy the ascendency through the third as King began to falter. As the third game progressed King’s movement began to slow, with the 29-year-old looking to be protecting her left leg, and Perry made the most of the opportunity to power through and complete a 3-1 win.
“I was being very predictable in the first game,” said Perry.
“I’ve never beaten her before but I tried to put that out of my mind before the match. I really enjoy playing here in San Francisco. I’ve done amazingly well here and the title last year was the biggest of my career.
“I haven’t looked past this match in the draw, it was a huge match against Joelle. I’d love to do really well again but it’s one match at a time for now.”