Gregoire Marche lifted his third Open International de Squash de Nantes
title in a row, while England’s Fiona Moverley lifted the biggest title
of her career after both players triumphed on finals day of the PSA M25
and PSA W15 events held in Les Machines de l’île.
World No.23 Marche, who beat Henrik Mustonen and Chris Simpson to win
the 2015 and 2016 titles, overcame Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller in a
brutal five-game clash which saw both players enjoy periods of dominance
as they were roared on by a deafening crowd.
After taking the opening game courtesy of some accurate play and
impressive retrievals, Marche fell to a 2-1 deficit after Mueller fought
his way into the encounter. But with the crowd on his side, Marche came
back into the match and got the better of Mueller in some blistering
exchanges to complete an 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3 victory in 70
“I think at 2-1 down I couldn’t see myself winning this match,” said
Marche after capturing his seventh PSA World Tour title.
“But I just thought to myself that I needed to do something even if I
didn’t win. So I pushed myself and I just wanted to be in front of him
and take the ‘T’ because he is a big guy and I needed to put him at the
back. I wanted to do something in the fourth game and somehow, I managed
to win and I can’t believe it.
“I love playing here and the crowd is just something that you can’t see
throughout the year so it’s great and thanks to the crowd.”
Meanwhile, Moverley took the most lucrative women’s Open International
de Squash de Nantes title ever after she defeated Belgium’s Nele Gilis
in straight games at the $15,000 prize money tournament.
Moverley, the World No.24 from Hull, followed on where she left off
after her dominant display against Canada’s Hollie Naughton in the last
four as she controlled the pace of the final to go a game up.
Gilis dug in and looked on the brink of levelling the scores in the
second game as she went 9-7 ahead but it was to be Moverley’s day as the
30-year-old took four points in a row to double her advantage before
closing out the third to take it 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3.
“It feels amazing,” said Moverley
“It’s the first tournament of the season and it’s amazing to get off to
a great start and win the event. When you’re looking at the tournaments
and planning your season, it was one of my targets to win this event so
to achieve one out of one so far feels really good.
“I’ve been delighted with how I’ve played all week. It’s been a tough
week, everyone in the draw are great players and it was fairly open so I
just had to give it my best.”
Defending champion Gregoire Marche booked his place in a third
successive Open International de Squash de Nantes final after he
defeated Egypt’s Mazen Hesham to set up a final clash with Switzerland’s
Nicolas Mueller - while Belgium’s Nele Gilis and England's Fiona
Moverley also triumphed in Les Machines de l'île to reach the women’s
went head-to-head in a high-octane encounter with Hesham which saw Les
Machines de l'île turn into a cauldron of noise as the home fans got
behind the French number one seed.
He saw a two-game lead cut in half by a resurgent Hesham but overturned
four game balls in the fourth game to seal an 11-6, 7-11, 11-1, 14-12
victory that puts him one win away from a third straight title in
“It was a bit up and down tonight, Mazen can do crazy things with his
racket,” said World No.23 Marche.
“There are some games when he can completely give up like he did in the
third game, so you never know with him. I was 8-3 down in the fourth and
I knew, even if I was down, that it’s never finished with him because he
can hit three winners and then make four mistakes, so I just pushed
myself in the end.
“There’s something special here for me in Nantes, maybe because it’s the
one tournament in France ,you want to do well and I am really motivated.
It’s the first one of the season so it proved that I did a great job
during the summer and I am happy to be in the final again.”
Marche will take on Swiss World.30 Nicolas Mueller in the title decider
of the PSA M25 tournament after Mueller defeated England’s Ben Coleman
to earn a place in his first Tour final since 2014.
the Zurich-based 28-year-old, prevailed 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4 and he
will look to claim a sixth successive victory over Marche in tomorrow’s
“I’m very happy with the way I played, I played attacking squash and I
knew the conditions suited me a bit better than him,” said Mueller.
“I love it when it is cold outside because the ball doesn’t bounce as
much. I overdid it in the third, I went short too quickly and I felt too
comfortable and he punished me severely. I’m very happy that I found my
length again in the fourth and I think that was the difference in the
“Greg [Marche] and I go back a long time, we’ve known each other for 15
years, I think. We know each other’s game very well and we’ve got a lot
of respect for each other.”
Gilis launched a superb comeback from two games down to beat top seed
Millie Tomlinson, with a 7-11, 11-13, 11-6, 13-11, 11-3 triumph sending
her into an eighth Tour final.
World No.27 Gilis looked like she was heading home after a virtuoso
performance from Tomlinson saw her rise to a 2-0 advantage but Gilis
refused to back down and stormed back to win three games without reply.
“The first two games I was so nervous and a little scruffy,” said the
“Then after the second game I tried to keep it more simple and it is
just such an electrifying crowd that they gave me that extra push I
needed today and I was so happy to get the win.
“I’m really pleased with how I came back and looking forward to the
final and whoever it may be. I’m just going to enjoy it and hopefully
the crowd will be as good tomorrow.”
Fiona Moverley stands between Gilis and the fifth title of her career,
with the World No.24 from Hull seeing off Canada’s Hollie Naughton in
Naughton played some superb squash to defeat home favourite Coline
Aumard in the previous round but Moverley played with unerring precision
and confidence to record an 11-8, 11-5, 11-4 victory in just 24 minutes.
“I’m over the moon to come through in three,” said Moverley following
“It’s a really strong women’s draw this year and it’s a really open
tournament. I know I’m seeded two and I’ve got to the final but there
was no easy route to get there. Everyone is playing at a really high
level and on any given day we can beat each other so it was really
important to find my form and build myself into the tournament, which I
think I’ve done."
Live coverage from the final of the Open International de Squash de
Nantes begins from 15:00 local time (CEST) on Sunday September 10 and
all of the action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world) and
Eurosport Player (Europe only).
Spectators at Les Machines de l’île witnessed defeats for two French
players on day three of the 2017 Open International de Squash de Nantes
as men’s World No.26 Mathieu Castagnet and women’s World No.26 Coline
Aumard bowed out of the PSA M25 and PSA W15 tournaments, respectively,
No.3 Castagnet lost out to England’s World No.54 Ben Coleman in his
quarter-final fixture after he was forced to retire due to injury in the
The 30-year-old has struggled with an adductor injury for the majority
of 2017 and some mammoth rallies seemed to take their toll as he shook
hands midway through the fourth to hand Coleman an 5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 7-4
“He’s someone over the last four or five years that I’ve looked up to in
the game, I love the way he plays the game," said Coleman.
"He’s been right to the very top, an incredible athlete who deserves
everything that he’s done and I hope that he can get fit and get back to
the top. It was sad to end like that and I genuinely wish him all the
“I’m loving my week here, the support has been amazing. I appreciate the
crowd were probably more on Mathieu’s side but they have been incredible
and I’m looking forward to getting back on court tomorrow.”
Coleman will appear in his biggest ever semi-final against Switzerland’s
Nicolas Mueller after he overcame Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi by an
11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-4 margin.
The match began evenly as a number of quick-fire encounters captivated
the spectators at Les Machines de l’île but Mueller soon pulled away
from 4-4 to open up a one-game lead, in part thanks to the effectiveness
of his forehand volley drops, with four of his last five points being
won on that side.
continued to squeeze errors out of his opponent in the second but errors
soon began to come from the racket of the Swiss player in the third as
Al Tamimi picked up the pace and utilised his impressive retrieval
skills to claw a game back. Mueller reinserted himself on proceedings
though in the fourth to close it out 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-4.
"Last year, I couldn’t play, I was injured but I was in front of
SQUASHTV and looking at the atmosphere and the MC jumping around made it
extremely enjoyable and I couldn’t wait to come this time round," said
"The court conditions were very cold, which suited both of our games.
But today I felt my length was better than his and he was behind me most
of the time, except in the third, where I let him back in, which was
stupid and dangerous.
"I hate playing players that are more talented than me and there are
more and more of those unfortunately. His racket skills are second to
none and it feels good to win against such a player."
Canada’s Hollie Naughton brought an end to Aumard’s tournament after she
fought back from three match balls down to beat the number three seed
and end French interest in the women’s draw.
The World No.38 started impressively as she powered to a two-game lead.
Aumard finally found her range in the third and fourth games to draw
level but couldn't make the most of multiple match balls in the fifth as
Naughton came back to win it 11-3, 11-5, 6-11, 4-11, 12-10.
"Coline is a tough opponent and I know that she never gives up,” said
"It’s amazing here, this is a massive crowd so it’s really special to
play in front of them. Hopefully tomorrow they will be cheering for me
but it was great.”
Naughton will take on England's Fiona Moverley for a place on the
showpiece finale after she dispatched Japan's Misaki Kobayashi by a 3-1
cruised to a two-game lead and, after Kobayashi fought back in the third
to halve the deficit, the World No.24 held her nerve in the fourth to
earn her place in tomorrow’s semi-finals.
“I really like playing on the glass, the court is really nice," Moverley
"The court’s great, the atmosphere’s great and the crowd are really good
so it’s been really good.”
The Open International de Squash de Nantes continues with the
semi-finals on September 9 and all of the action will be shown live on
SQUASHTV (rest of world) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).
Top seeds Gregoire Marche and Millie Tomlinson prevailed on day two of
the 2017 Open International de Squash de Nantes to earn their places in
the semi-finals of the men's and women's events, respectively, in Les
Machines de l'île.
the 2015 and 2016 champion, moved to within one win of a third
successive final in Nantes after the World No.23 overcame Chris Simpson
in a repeat of last year's final, beating the Englishman 11-6, 11-4,
11-7 in 46 minutes.
"I wasn’t really the same way as yesterday, I was really focused from
the start," said Marche, who recovered from a game down to beat Mazen
Gamal in round one.
"I know Chris has had a tough year and it’s not easy for him, I know
he’s not 100 per cent yet. It’s not easy to play a good friend, I had to
do my best and I’m happy because I stayed focused throughout the whole
match and I think I played the game I wanted. It’s a good 3-0 today.
"I love the crowd here, it feels like home and I love this court.
There’s maybe something special here, I want to keep going like this and
I have a good day off tomorrow to get ready for Saturday."
Marche will line up against Egypt's Mazen Hesham in the last four after
the World No.70 defeated Finnish veteran Olli Tuominen 3-1.
a former World No.13 ,had been a regular Shot of the Month contender
before a host of injuries over the last two years saw him tumble down
the World Rankings but he was in full flow against Tuominen as he hit a
series of outrageous winners to storm into a 2-0 lead.
A loss of consistency in the third game saw Tuominen come back to halve
the deficit but Hesham responded by simplifying his game plan and
playing the percentage shots and he was duly rewarded with a victory in
the fourth to take it 11-6, 11-4, 10-12, 11-7.
“I’m just delighted to be playing, you can see how much I enjoyed it,”
said number three seed Hesham.
“I was excited about my shots and keeping the crowd entertained as well,
it’s what I play for. I’m so happy to be here and playing and to be in
the semi-finals of the first tournament of the season.
"It would mean a lot to reach the final, it’s been almost two years that
I have played regularly on the Tour, so to end this tournament by
reaching the final would be the greatest feeling.”
will meet fourth seed Nele Gilis in the semi-finals of the women's event
after they claimed respective wins over qualifying duo Sivasangari
Subramaniam and Nouran El Torky.
Tomlinson was almost on the end of a shock defeat after going two games
down to Malaysia’s Subramaniam, who played with a maturity beyond her 18
The World No.22 eventually found her range in the third though and a
determined response saw her ease to victory before following that up by
edging the fourth and fifth games to seal an 6-11, 6-11, 11-1, 11-9,
“I started slowly again like I did in the first round, it seems to be a
theme this season so I will try to get over that going into the next
round," said Tomlinson.
“I watched a few clips of her before so I knew she was a good player and
I expected her to be tricky and fast.
“It was amazing to play on the glass court. I think it’s the best
atmosphere I’ve ever played in so it’s really cool with the crowd.”
meanwhile was in complete control for the majority of her match against
El Torky, claiming comfortable wins in the first and third games either
side of a tight tie-break triumph in the second as she claimed an 11-6,
12-10, 11-5 victory.
“I’m very happy,” Gilis said.
“I didn’t come into this tournament with any expectations because it’s
the first tournament of the season. I just try to enjoy and focus on my
own game and see where it takes me."
The Open International de Squash de Nantes continues with the second day
of quarter-final action on September 8 and it will be shown live on
SQUASHTV (rest of world) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).
Defending champion Gregoire Marche, second seeded Frenchman Mathieu
Castagnet and women’s World No.26 Coline Aumard will appear in the
quarter-finals of the 2017 Open International de Squash de Nantes after
the trio claimed opening day wins on home soil at Les Machines de l’île.
got his efforts to win a third successive PSA M25 title in Nantes off to
a winning start after he recovered from a game down to claim a 3-1
victory over Egyptian qualifier Mazen Gamal, taking it 8-11, 11-4, 11-4,
11-4 in 45 minutes.
"I think he took his chances tonight, I was a bit flat at the beginning
and I was a bit nervous because I knew all of the crowd were cheering
for me and I did well the last two years,” admitted Marche.
“I was a bit nervous and I tried to play simple after the first game.
Even if I didn’t feel great tonight, I had to do my job and play as
simple as I could. It all paid off in the end.
“It’s the only big tournament in France, so there aren’t many occasions
to play squash in France. I feel like the crowd really supports us and
it’s a great place. They take good care of us and it’s great to be
Marche will face the man he beat in the 2016 final - England’s Chris
Simpson - for a place in the last four after Simpson marked his return
from an eight-month injury layoff with a win against Egypt’s Shehab
Castagnet came through an all-French first round clash with Lucas Serme
to earn his place in the last eight.
Castagnet, a former World No.6 making his Open International de Squash
de Nantes debut, got the better of Serme in the opening two games after
attacking well but he looked to be falling physically in the third as
Serme halved the deficit.
The 30-year-old recovered though in the fourth to close out the win by
an 11-6, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5 margin, setting up a quarter-final fixture
with Ben Coleman in the process.
“It’s not easy to play Lucas, he’s such a good friend of mine and we’ve
been playing together in the French team for eight years now,” said
“When I checked the draw, I wasn’t happy that I would be meeting him in
front of the French crowd. He’s a really talented guy and he’s a
fighter. Physically, he’s very strong, so I tried to play a simple game
“It’s only my third or fourth time in front of the French crowd playing
a PSA tournament so that’s a great thing for me. Only two French players
are still in the [men’s] draw, so hopefully we can play a nice final for
Castagnet will take on England’s Ben Coleman in the next round after
Coleman claimed a surprise win over compatriot Declan James, while there
were also wins for Egyptian maverick Mazen Hesham, Switzerland’s Nicolas
Mueller, Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi and Finland’s Olli Tuominen.
will carry home hopes on her shoulders in the women’s PSA W15 tournament
after she got the better of 19-year-old Egyptian Menna Hamed.
It was a physical encounter between the two with the referee constantly
being called into action and points going back and forth between them as
Aumard eventually prevailed by an 11-7, 11-13, 11-7, 11-6 margin.
“It was a tough first match, so I was ready to fight and we did fight,”
said Aumard, who will face Canada’s Hollie Naughton in the
“To be able to play a PSA tournament in France, I just feel so lucky and
I’m very pleased. I would just like to say thank you to Nantes and the
whole organisation because without them it wouldn’t be possible and they
can be so proud of what they have done because it’s amazing and quite
original as well."
women’s top seed, World No.22 Millie Tomlinson, is also through to the
last eight courtesy of a win over tournament wildcard Julie Rossignol,
with a 9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-3 victory setting up a quarter-final meeting
with Malaysia’s Sivasangari Subramaniam.
“I’m really pleased to get through to the next round and more relieved
than anything,” Tomlinson said.
“I didn’t start very well but I guess that it’s the first tournament of
the season so I was kind of expecting that and she mixed her shots up
really well so that caught me by surprise. She was shooting off the
serve and things which I’m not used to."
Second seed Fiona Moverley was also a victor on day one and she will
take on Japan’s Misaki Kobayashi for a place in the semi-finals, while
Belgium’s Nele Gilis and Egypt's Nouran El Torky will meet in the other
The Open International de Squash de Nantes quarter-finals take place
between September 7-8 and will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world)
and Eurosport Player (Europe only).
An Egyptian quartet headed by World No.56 Mazen Gamal prevailed on the
final day of qualification at the 2017 Open International de Squash de
Nantes as Shehab Essam, Menna Hamed and Nouran El Torky joined the
31-year-old in the main draw of the M25 and W15 tournaments held in
Gamal, the top seed in the men's qualifying draw, had fallen at the
final stage of qualification at last year’s tournament but he followed
up a victory over Portugal’s Rui Soares with a win over France’s
Baptiste Masotti, recovering from 2-1 down to seal his place in the main
Gamal will take on Masotti’s compatriot, top seed and defending champion
Gregoire Marche, in round one of the main draw while his fellow
Egyptian, Shehab Essam, will face 2016 runner-up Chris Simpson for a
place in the last eight after he defeated Dutchman Piedro Schweertman.
They will be joined in the main draw of the men’s event by Mohammad
Alsarraj, who beat England's Jaymie Haycocks 3-2, and World No.94 George
Parker, who saw off Denmark’s Kristian Frost Olesen by a 3-1 margin.
Alsarraj will meet ‘Swiss Rocket’ Nicolas Mueller in round one, while
Parker will take on Egyptian maverick Mazen Hesham.
Meanwhile, all of the top four seeds in the women’s qualifying draw
earned their main draw berths with Hamed coming back from a 2-1 deficit
against Tinne Gilis to set up a first round clash with home favourite
El Torky joins her compatriot in the main draw after she beat Enora
Villard to set up a meeting with Zeina Mickawy, while there were also
wins for Sivasangari Subramaniam and Alexandra Fuller, who will face
Rowan Elaraby and Fiona Moverley, respectively.
Main draw matches will be split between La Maison Du Squash and Les
Machines de l'île on September 6 while all matches from the
quarter-finals onwards will be held at Les Machines de l’île. Tickets
for the tournament start from €6 and can be purchased here: http://uk.opensquashnantes.fr/
The Open International de Squash de Nantes will be the first tournament
of the 2017/18 season to be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world) and
Eurosport Player (Europe only).