Two times they’ve met (US Open 2015 and British Open 2019) and twice the Frenchman has run away with the victory against his American opponent.
The status quo remained unchanged again on Sunday as France’s Lucas Serme defeated his American counterpart Todd Harrity 3-1 (11-5, 12-14, 11-4, 14-12) in the keenly contested match that lasted just a little over an hour.
Lucas Serme, ranked 38, proved that his superior ranking wasn’t for fun as he saw the back of his opponent, who broke into the world’s top 50 for the first time in 2016. Serme thereby booked a second-round clash against England’s Tom Richards who defeated fellow compatriot Nathan Lake in straight games (11-6, 11-9, 11-6) in another fixture.
With two of the games going into tie-breaker (second and fourth), the duo’s encounter was clearly one of the most entertaining of Sunday’s matches as their meeting had all the trappings of suspense, thrills and frills all rolled into one.
Harrity almost took the fourth game to draw level with the Frenchman needing just a point to take the game into a decider, but Serme gallantly fought back to finish off where he started despite the match ending in deuce twice.
In his post-match interview, Serme said he couldn’t overrule upsets at the tournament.
“We didn’t have many tournaments obviously since March, and then we had a couple of big tournaments, and the big guys got through, but there were few upsets still along the way. Apart from the top-three, the guys behind have had upsets against them, so I think an underdog can win this tournament,” Serme noted.