The Le Havre PSA Challenger begins this week in France, and the Challenger 10 level tournament has a very similar field to the PSA Squash95 event which took place in January.
Melissa Alves was victorious in Paris last month, and has moved up to World No.31 in the February rankings, her highest ever rank. She will once again be the top seed in Le Havre this week, with World No.48 Enora Villard seeded to meet her compatriot in the final.
World No.65 Anna Serme is the only non-French player in the field, with the top-ranked Czech player living in the country with husband Lucas, who reached the final of the PSA Challenger 10 Le Reve Nancy at the weekend.
Serme lost out to Alves in the final in Paris last month, but believes she is playing some of her best squash. Next on the list, beat the Frenchwoman to secure a title!
“I think I played quite well, the best I’ve played in some time actually. I was really happy for the opportunity to play a PSA event after so long and it was great to play in my club, too,” she explained.
Serme (front left) and Alves (front right) after the PSA Squash95 final
“How to win? That is simple (in theory): beat Melissa. If everything goes according to the seedings I should meet her already in the semis this time though. So my first goal is to get there and then have a good match. In any case, it is always great to get to play someone of Melissa’s quality.”
The Czech No.1 has opted to not set result-based goals for 2021, explaining that the last twelve months have taught her a thing or two.
“My goal is to stay healthy – both mentally and physically – and take the year as it comes. If I learned something in 2020, it is not to plan too much,” she said.
Serme has used the pandemic well though, and has been training with husband Lucas. It might not be an ideal situation for some, but the pair have worked well, with the Czech player claiming her new training partner is a good influence.
“He is someone with whom I actually really enjoy all the lockdowns! Before the pandemic, we trained together much less but since the beginning, we are basically each other’s only training partners, with some exceptions,” Serme said.
“We have a very good influence on each other in terms of motivation, even if one of us is lazy sometimes, we still stick together and do the work. Unless it is running outside in the cold, I sometimes pass on that one!”
The event takes place from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 February at the Art Sport Cafe in Le Havre, France, where Melissa Alves is the top seed for the tournament. Follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.
First Round Draw: Le Havre PSA Challenger
 Melissa Alves (FRA) v Kara Lincou (FRA)
Ana Munos (FRA) v  Taba Taghavi (FRA)
 Lea Barbeau (FRA) v Mahe Asensi (FRA)
Yuna Loaec (FRA) v  Anna Serme (CZE)
 Marie Stephan (FRA) v Ninon Lemarchand (FRA)
Ella Galova (FRA) v  Elise Romba (FRA)
 Fanny Segers (FRA) v Oceane Michelot (FRA)
Rose Lucas Marcuzzo (FRA) v  Enora Villard (FRA)