France’s World No.5 Camille Serme was pushed all the way by a tenacious Rowan Elaraby of Egypt as she prevailed in a five-game thriller under the chandeliers of Grand Central Station’s Vanderbilt Hall at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.
The two players had never faced each other before on the PSA World Tour, but 19-year-old Elaraby, who has won the prestigious World Junior Championship title twice, has enjoyed a string of impressive performances this season and it was another stellar outing this time around for the young Egyptian as she caused problems for Serme.
The 30-year-old Frenchwoman took a close first game, before succumbing completely to Elaraby’s quick play in the second as the Egyptian levelled the match for the loss of just three points.
CamilleSerme</a> sends <a href="https://twitter.com/rowanelarabyy?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">rowanelarabyy down Lexington!"
High quality stuff from these two ladies as they battle for a place in the last 16 of the
ToCSquash</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToCSquash?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToCSquash</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToC20?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToC20</a> <a href="https://t.co/kfPzhimbXm">pic.twitter.com/kfPzhimbXm</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) January 11, 2020
The momentum continued to swing between both players in the third and fourth with a game going either way, before Serme was able to utilise her experience on the big stage to nudge ahead and keep her lead in the final game and close out an 11-8, 3-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 win in 59 minutes.
Up next for Serme is Egypt’s World No.16 Yathreb Adel.
“It was tough, and I knew I had everything to lose and she had nothing to lose,” said Serme afterwards.
“We prepared this match very well with all of my staff, I think today it was about being more precise than her and not giving her any angles, because every time she had an angle – she’s Egyptian so she hits very good shots.
“I’m just happy that I was able to be accurate enough at the end. After the second game, which she won pretty easy, I knew I had to make it hard for her and that she couldn’t win that easy, so I was trying to be more precise with my length. Every time I was volleying on my backhand she knew where it was going.”
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-2: 11-8, 3-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 (59m)