France’s World No.5 Camille Serme sent shockwaves through the women’s draw as she took out World No.1 Raneem El Welily in five-games to advance to the semi-finals of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions held in New York’s Grand Central Terminal.
Despite her consistent form on the PSA World Tour, Serme had only beaten El Welily three times in her career prior to today’s match, with the Egyptian also claiming the last seven victories in a row.
It was clear the Frenchwoman meant business from the word go as she saved three of El Welily’s game balls in the first game before the World No.1 converted on the fourth attempt to go one game up.
"They're playing in fast-forward these two!"— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) January 14, 2020
Outrageous pace from
RaneemElWelily</a> & <a href="https://twitter.com/CamilleSerme?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">CamilleSerme – we haven't sped this up, they're just that quick! #ToCSquash #ToC20 pic.twitter.com/1nH78bNnMf
Serme, who lifted the ToC title back in 2017, came back with confidence in the second to take six points in a row to draw level, before once again falling behind to El Welily as she claimed the third.
The high calibre of squash continued from both players, with Serme in particular playing with no fear as she fought back from a game down once again before storming into an 8-2 lead in the fifth and eventually closing out 13-15, 11-4, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6 in 59 minutes.
That moment you beat the World No.1 for the first time in eight matches
Emotions run high as
CamilleSerme</a> sends <a href="https://twitter.com/RaneemElWelily?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">RaneemElWelily OUT of the 2020
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/DlNfjuSkM8">pic.twitter.com/DlNfjuSkM8</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) January 14, 2020
“It’s funny because today I was the challenger and she had the pressure,” said an emotional Serme afterwards.
“It’s kind of easier to play your best squash because you think you have nothing to lose. You play free and I proved to myself that I can play those shots as well as they can do.
“I felt less pressure today. It’s the kind of match you want to enjoy, I’m playing the World No.1 here in Grand Central, it’s going to be a great match. Raneem is the fairest player on tour so you know it’s going to be a clean and good match. I just enjoyed it so much and it’s not that often I beat Raneem, I think it’s only the fourth time in my career.”
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt  Raneem El Welily (EGY) 3-2: 13-15, 11-4, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6 (59m)