Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 2-1  Camille Serme (Fra) 11-6, 3-11, 14-12 (54m)
After the ScrambleShamble we witnessed in the Mostafa/Tarek game, the most gracious of ladies came on court, and we had “un peu de douceur dans ce monde de brutes”. Look it up.
How refreshing. How incredibly intense and yet, how fair: no blocking. No shouting. No discussions with the refs. No mind games. No pissing contests.
Just squash. Imagine that.
The first game saw Camille make a lot of unforced errors – 5 in all, and Hania seemed relaxed and comfortable out there, 11m, 11/6.
A very good effort in the second from the French lady, 2/0 followed by three uncharacteristic errors from Hania in a row, down 7/1, 8/2, 11/3 for Camille in 10m. Very unusual for the Egyptian who is famous for hanging on in rallies and not letting anything go for cheap! She looked very tired.
A good reassessment in the third for the Egyptian, 3/1, 3/3, 5/5, 6/6, 8/8, 9/9. Nothing in it. And after an extraordinary long rally, the Gazelle makes the error, it’s match ball for the French, 10/9.
Will follow sublimely long, intense, fair, respectful and yet giving it all on there rallies, both players incredible playing a powerful and athletic squash, those matches you don’t want a loser out of.
But we needed a winner, and Hania, in front of her crowd, somehow managed to take the match on her second attempt, having looked drained and very tired for a game and three quarters. All credit to her to have pushed through that 31m game.
You read correctly. 31m last game. In which Hania gave away 2 points (1 error, one stroke) Camille 5 (4 errors, 1 stroke). A very high, truly high level of squash, like usual, I have to add…
Camille : So close, as usual… Still, happy I was able to come back into the match after a first game where I wasn’t that close.
In the last game, I felt she was tired, and I really didn’t want to give her easy points. Shame, 8/6 and I let her come back 9/8 in a flash, Philippe is going to mention it to me for sure!
It’s about details once again, crucial shots that actually weren’t. I thought I had improved, but still, a huge match I didn’t let go of anything. Mad mad battle!
Hania : The only thing I can say, I can assure you that even if I can’t find my game and I can’t find my length, I will kill myself, I will run for every point and I think that is what I did today. I dug in and I will always keep digging. Every time I play Camille, it is always physical and intense. I always enjoy playing against her and I think I should be proud of how I kept fighting,” she explained.
Definitely looking forward to tomorrow. Ready for it and really looking forward to it. Hopefully everyone will be there and I will be able to deliver a good performance.
I try to keep eye contact with my coach, and I try not to look at my parents sometimes. I always have eyes on Haitham Effat, my coach, he always gives me a push and even if I am messing up during a game, he helps find a way to keep me going.