Monday, April 15, 2024

Camille Serme is relishing the chance to deliver a spectacular showcase for squash in Paris

By MIKE DALE (Squash Mad Correspondent)

It is exactly 10 months until plans for the first PSA Platinum event in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower in Paris will hopefully become a reality – although tournament organiser Camille Serme admits there is still “a lot of work to do”.

The as-yet unnamed six-day tournament is still in the planning stage but is scheduled to run from August 27 to September 2, featuring 96 men and women competing for equal prize money on an all-glass court at the Palais de Tokyo, next to the Trocadero on the bank of the River Seine.

Former world No.2 Serme, who retired from the PSA Tour in June, says the project aims to “make squash big again in France”.

She commented: “Even if I’m not part of the professional tour any more, this dream remains a major objective for me in order to develop squash in France and the world. I am above all passionate about this sport and I intend to put all my energy into this human adventure.”

Serme admits she and fellow organisers, including Eric Nizard and her long-time coach Philippe Signoret, are still looking for title sponsors for the event.

“We have the location secured and some sponsor money, but there’s still a long way to go (in raising more),” she told Gerry Gibson’s In Squash podcast.

Camille Serme (left) beats Nour El Sherbini to win her second ToC title in New York in 2020

“It’s a big budget because we want to do something big. It’s not only a squash tournament; we want to put on a show with a lot of surprises for the crowd.

“The whole idea is to make squash big again in France. I’m really putting my energy into this project because I’m still passionate about this sport and I want more people to play and watch.”

Tournament president Nizard said: “[This tournament] is a necessary showcase to give the sport the visibility it deserves. It will be a true show in a mythical location, the Palais de Tokyo, in front of the Eiffel Tower. For me, this tournament is above all a human adventure without equal.”

Signoret, coach of the French women’s national team, is relishing the task of staging a Platinum-level squash tournament in France for the first time since the Guy Laroche International in the late 1980s, in which he played himself.

“It is time to offer our players an event that is worthy of them in front of a public that, I have no doubt, will be there to support them,” he said.

Listen to Camille Serme talk to Gerry Gibson on the InSquash Podcast here



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