Camille squeezes past Sabrina

R3:  [3] Camille Serme (Fra) 3-2 Sabrina Sobhy (Usa)  11-6, 12-14, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7 (67m)

How did Camille win that match, I’m not sure she knows herself… When I spoke with Sabrina yesterday after her victory, there was something in her that made me think she might cause a lot of trouble to Cam: when she mentioned “it’s on the glasscourt” I was thinking she would be a bit weary, but on the contrary, she went “no pressure on me” and I thought… ah ha!

So today, after she lost the first game, I wrote in my book – she is getting used to seeing the ball. And by Jove did she got used to it! She took the game to Camille beautifully. Not only retrieving Camille’s attack, but stuck to her game plan, taking the Frenchwoman to the right side of the court more than normal, finding some sharp hard low cross court, wrongfoot Cam far too many times for the Frenchwoman good.

The second is quite characteristic really. Camille seems in control, 10/6… but a fraction of relaxation maybe, and she is losing that one, in 16m, 14/12 despite having 4 game balls…

The third is close, 7/7 8/8 9/9, but a stroke and a hard kill, and the American is up 2/1 in 12m.
I was looking at Camille at that point. She didn’t looked panicked at all. She didn’t look like anything. Flat is the word that would come to me really. I was thinking of Philippe Signoret back in Paris, jumping out of his seat with frustration. But not a pipe from Camille, not a “ALLLLLLEZ”…

I thought she was a goner to be honest, up in that 4th, 7/4 8/5, caught up and overtaken by the young American, 9/8. Out of the blue, she finds some energy finally, and will clinch that 4th on a second attempt, thanks to a lovely tin – just a bit of inexperience at that level from Sabrina, game in 13m, on her second attempt, 12/10.

The fifth, finally, the hard work Sabrina got in her legs to sustain the pace she had to produce to challenge the Frenchwoman is taking its toll, and it’s a “holding-by-a-thread-but-still-wining-it” Cam that closes the decider, 4/4, 9/5, 11/7, 9m game…

The Pyramids were kind to the Panthère tonight… Philippe, how is the blood pressure?…


“I thought it could be a Sobhy sister thing!”

“I think we both saw in the first game that the floor was very slippery,”

“It was a lot better after we wiped it. I always know it is going to be hard against Sabrina, she is coming along strongly. We’ve been practicing and training together a little bit so I know what she’s capable of. To be honest I saw myself on a plane home tonight when I was 2-1 down.

“I don’t know what happened, I need to analyse with my coach how I actually won this match. I felt a bit flat in a few games and she was really good, attacking and volleying very well. I’m happy I’m through and really glad I made it.