Top seed Camille Serme sent defending champion Joelle King out of the 2020 Manchester Open after prevailing 3-1 in their quarter-final clash inside the National Squash Centre.
The pair had contested nine PSA World Tour matches since first meeting in 2010, with Serme winning five of those matches, including their last fixture, a 55-minute best-of-three games victory at the CIB PSA World Tour Finals last year.
The match was a high-quality affair, particularly in the early stages. The lead changed hands multiple times, with King squandering three game balls as Serme came back to take five points unopposed to take a one-game advantage.
There was no let-up in intensity in the second game, where it was Serme’s turn to throw away a lengthy lead as King fought back from 7-3 down to draw level on games.
However, the Frenchwoman responded brilliantly in the third as she ramped up the pace and her ball control, coupled with a drop in accuracy from King, enabled her to restore her lead for the loss of five points.
The World No.3 had the bit between her teeth and she was outstanding in a one-sided fourth game to complete a 12-10, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4 victory which will see her play either Hania El Hammamy or Salma Hany for a place in the title decider.
"Even though I was quite far in front, I was worried she would come back, so I was just trying to stay focussed."— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) September 20, 2020
CamilleSerme</a> gave us her reaction after beating <a href="https://twitter.com/Joelle_King?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">Joelle_King in a tight four-game battle in the quarter-finals#SquashIsBack #MCROpen #MCRactive pic.twitter.com/RDROr75YIm
“I’m very happy to have won, it was a big match and I expected it to be,” said Serme.
“It seemed like there were long rallies and we were both running a lot trying to find our targets at the back and she did really well with her lobbing and having me in the back. I was trying be more in front of her.
“She had a bit of a low in the fourth after serving out and I thought that was my chance and I was happy to win it quite comfortably. It’s funny because I was wondering if I was going to change the ball and she actually asked before me. In the last game, even though I was quite in front, I was a bit worried that she would come back, so I was trying to really stay focused.”
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt  Joelle King (NZL) 3-1: 12-10, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4 (56m)