New York, USA, Oct 5, 2013: Unseeded French squash star Camille Serme continued her giant-killing campaign against English seeds in the Carol Weymuller Open in New York when she despatched seventh seed Jenny Duncalf to become the sole non-seed to make the semi-finals of the Women’s Squash Association Gold 50 event celebrating its 40th anniversary at The Heights Casino in Brooklyn.
Duncalf, the 2009 and 2010 champion, went into the match 7-2 up in the pair’s head-to-head record – but Serme was successful in their most recent clash, and 24 hours earlier had upset Duncalf’s fourth-seeded compatriot Alison Waters.
World No. 10 Serme made an excellent start and took the opening game.
“In the second the rallies were long and each player was trying to control the middle, but it was Camille that kept a constant pressure on Jenny,” explained said Heights Casino Director of Squash Linda Elriani. “Jenny has amazing racket skills and holds and played many wonderful winners but she didn’t seem patient enough today to wait for her openings and made some unforced errors.
“Camille was defending immaculately and was absorbing Jenny’s pressure so well. Camille won the second game 11-7 too.”
Serme was thrilled with her 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 victory. “I’m SO happy! To be honest when I was warming up I didn’t feel the best because of yesterday’s match but when I was on court in the match I was running and covering the court like I normally do,” said the 24-year-old from Creteil.
“I guess Jenny didn’t play her best. After the second I realised the second game was so important. I’ve reached the semi’s here and I’m so happy! I’m going to try and enjoy it now but tomorrow I’ll re-focus. For now back on the bike and stretch!”
A disappointed Duncalf commented: “She obviously played well. She hit her targets really well. I wasn’t good enough. Poor performance, but she was on fire.”
Serme, in her first Carol Weymuller semi, will now play her third English opponent, Laura Massaro – the No2 seed and defending champion. The world No2 from Preston eased past Malaysia’s No6 seed Low Wee Wern, winning 11-8, 12-10, 11-6.
“That was a really hard 3/0,” said Massaro later. “You know you’ve played well to beat Low 3/0! I was really happy with performance and the way I played. Feeling good to be in the semi’s without dropping a game and really looking forward to tomorrow.”
Low, the world No7 from Penang, said: “I felt I was actually playing well and I didn’t do anything wrong in particular. We both played tight squash. It’s always disappointing to lose but I felt there was not much I could do more.
“We’re both top 10 players and she’s not world No2 for nothing and she has more experience than me!”
The other semi-final will feature last year’s runner-up Raneem El Weleily, the No3 seed from Egypt, and top seed Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia who won the title in 2005.
David, a surprise quarter-final casualty 12 months ago, defeated India’s Dipika Pallikal 11-7, 11-5, 11-4.
“My aim was to keep her moving because she is so good when she has time,” said David afterwards. “I managed to put my game plan together and my shots came in at the right time.
“I’m looking forward to another step up tomorrow. It’s already a bonus on last year so now I’m just going to enjoy it!”
Pallikal, who upset Australia’s No8 seed Kasey Brown to make the quarters, said: “I’m tired after my long match yesterday! When you play Nicol you have to be fresh to have a chance.
“I started well in the first game and she just got tighter in the second and third which made me go for more shots and she just got onto the balls. I’ve had a good tournament and I’ve got a lot to learn.
“It’s all a learning process for me. I really made use of this tournament and hopefully I’ll come back in a week or so in Macau and play well. You’ve got to take the positives and learn from it.”
El Weleily also won in straight games, taking out New Zealand’s fifth seed Joelle King 11-6, 11-7, 11-9.
“I think I played OK and I’m happy to be through to the semi-finals,” said the 24-year-old world No3 from Alexandria. “Joelle is such a good player and she has had such great results since we played last year.”
King added: “Lots of mistakes! Just really hot and struggling to control the ball. All credit to her as she can make you feel rushed. In parts I got a couple of good runs of points but I just couldn’t take it up to the next level and capitalise.”
RESULTS: Carol Weymuller Open, New York, USA
 Nicol David (MAS) bt Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11-7, 11-5, 11-4
 Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt  Joelle King (NZL) 11-6, 11-7, 11-9
Camille Serme (FRA) bt  Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11-7, 11-7, 11-7
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt  Low Wee Wern (MAS) 11-8, 12-10, 11-6
 Nicol David (MAS) v  Raneem El Weleily (EGY)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v Camille Serme (FRA). —- WSF