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Camille Serme (right) on court against Nele Gilis

Manchester Open RD2: Serme Escapes From Tricky Gilis Test

World No.3 Camille Serme is through to the quarter-finals of the PSA Silver level Manchester Open after coming through a 67-minute battle with Belgian No.1 Nele Gilis.

The pair had only met twice before on the PSA World Tour, with the Belgian No.1 yet to take a game from the World No.3. Their last meeting came in San Francisco last September, with the Frenchwoman winning in that best-of-three contest.

After a quick start to the first game, the Frenchwoman started to get moved around the court by the World No.16. However, a crucial error late on gave Serme the advantage, one that allowed her to seal the first game and take the momentum.

It did not last long though, and some great attacking play from Gilis brought her back into the match. She was able to take the second 11-6, winning a game against the French No.1 for the first time.

It would eventually be Serme that earned the victory, thanks to the momentum she took in the third. A string of points at the back end of the third game meant she took it easily, and although Gilis tried to fight back in the fourth, the Frenchwoman was able to seal the win with her second match ball, booking her place in the last eight.

“It was a tough battle. It is always going to be hard against Nele. Physically, she gets most of them balls if your shots are not good enough. Today, I didn’t find my targets like I wanted to and she made it tough for me,” Serme admitted.

“I was battling against myself and my opponent. It was one of those days where you feel up and down. The win is the most important thing in the end and I am happy to be through.

“I will call my coach right after this and I am sure he will be relived but he will also be asking what happened. He would have been able to see that the ball was not going down like it can do when play my best.”

[1] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [10] Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-1: 11-8, 6-11, 11-4, 12-10 (67m)

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