World No.4 Camille Serme is through to the last 16 of the CIB Black Ball Open after defeating fellow Frenchwoman Melissa Alves in straight games in the opening round of the PSA World Tour Gold level event in Cairo.
The Frenchwoman, who won the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions at the start of 2020, had won their only previous meeting on the PSA World Tour, which came at this very venue two months after her epic victory at Grand Central Terminal in New York.
The match was played at a rapid tempo to start with, with both players finding their targets early on. The game was level at 6-6, before Serme put in an extra push, taking five of the last six points to convert on the first game ball, winning it 11-7.
Alves came out firing at the start of the second game, winning the first three points, as she aimed to stay in the match. However, ‘La Panthere’ showed her class through the middle stage of the second to double her advantage in the contest, before winning the third in quick fashion to secure a spot in the second round.
Serme will now face another European opponent, in Belgian No.2 Tinne Gilis, in the second round. They will play on Wednesday evening, with the winner advancing to the quarter-finals in Cairo.
“I am happy with my performance. It was not easy to play Melissa. We knew the draw for a few weeks but I really had to prepare mentally for this match,” she admitted.
“We are not only teammates, but we are good friends. We spend a lot of time together, so it was not easy, but I had to give it my all to beat her.
“You have to remember that it is our job. Being No.4 in the world, you have to be World No.1 one day, so you have to forget how you are playing. You have to do your best, focus on what you have to, and to mentally be ready.”
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt Melissa Alves (FRA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-3 (33m)