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For the second time this season, France’s world No. 5 Camille Serme defeated Team USA’s Amanda Sobhy 11-9 in the fifth game of a world series event last night in the 2016 Windy City Open presented by Guggenheim Partners & Equitrust quarterfinals in the University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral Hall.
In their most recent encounter during November’s Qatar Classic, Serme held off a late surge from Sobhy to win 4-11, 13011, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9 in fifty-seven minutes.
Sobhy was consigned to the same fate Friday night, this time playing in front of a partial home crowd. Like in Qatar, Sobhy started with the advantage taking the first game 11-6, before Serme leveled 11-4.
Unlike Qatar, Sobhy earned the 2-1 advantage winning the third game 11-5. A close fourth game saw the twenty-two-year-old American fight off two game balls from 8-10 down, at which point Serme sent the match into a fifth game 12-10.
The score remained tight in the fifth game with each players trading points until Serme earned two match balls at 10-8. Sobhy fought off one, but it wasn’t enough as Serme advanced to the semifinals at the expense of the Harvard graduate.
“She’s an unbelievable fighter and put me under so much pressure out there, ” Sobhy said after the match. “I lost to the better player today.
“I’m really disappointed with how that went tonight—I lost 11-9 in the fifth the last time we played and I had hoped I could reverse it tonight. I was so off tonight. I don’t know what happened. I was feeling good for this tournament. But today, I don’t think I played well, she was controlling most of the match, I was just scrambling around, and I had no game plan on there.”
Serme, the 2015 British Open Champion admitted she needed to dig deep in order to defeat Sobhy on in the U.S.
“She’s on home soil so that meant a lot to me today, ” Serme said. “I had to fight very hard—I knew it was going to be a big battle as last time we played, it went to 11-9 in the fifth. In these kind of matches, you are just relieved to get through.
Serme said her French teammate, Mathieu Castagnet, inspired her after his acrobatic display went viral.
“I was trying to run as hard as possible and give it my all—I was thinking about Mathieu’s play yesterday, I tried and retrieved like him, but I cannot dive!”
All Windy City Open matches are streaming live on SquashTV. Tickets for the Windy City Open can be purchased at www.windycityopen.com.