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James Willstrop and Emily Whitlock top the bill in Nantes

Commonwealth Games champion James Willstrop will be top seed in Nantes

Willstrop will relish drama on stage in France

The 2018 edition of the Open International de Squash de Nantes will play host to its strongest ever line-up between September 4-9 when former World No.1 James Willstrop and compatriot Emily Whitlock headline the men’s and women’s draws respectively at the spectacular setting of Théâtre Graslin.

Willstrop, the current World No.17, won a Commonwealth Games gold medal on Australia’s Gold Coast in April and the Yorkshireman is one of the star names in the men’s PSA Challenger Tour 30 draw, which also includes home favourites Gregoire Marche and Mathieu Castagnet.

Marche has won all three previous editions of the Open International de Nantes and defeated Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller in last year’s final, winning a dramatic encounter 3-2 at Les Machines de l’île.

The tournament has been held at some of the most picturesque locations in Nantes, with Marche also taking the honours at the Lieu Unique and the Cité Internationale des Congrès in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Willstrop, an enthusiastic actor in several recent amateur productions in Yorkshire, will relish treading the boards on stage in this picturesque, atmospheric venue which is bound to attract full-house signs.

England’s Emily Whitlock is women’s top seed in Nantes

World No.22 Whitlock is the top seed for the women’s PSA Challenger Tour 20 event and will contest a tournament that contains eight of the world’s top 50 players, including defending champion and fellow Englishwoman Fiona Moverley, who beat World No.34 Nele Gilis in the 2017 final.

Matches will be split between the glass court staged at Théâtre Graslin and the traditional courts based at La Maison du Squash.

The Open International de Nantes will be the first PSA Challenger Tour event to be broadcast on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), with action from the glass court shown live.

Tickets start from €9 and can be purchased from the Open International de Squash de Nantes website.

For more information on the tournament, visit the Open International de Squash de Nantes Facebook page. 

2018 Open International de Squash de Nantes (September 4-9):

Men’s Entry List:
1) James Willstrop (ENG)
2) Declan James (ENG)
3) Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
4) Zahed Mohamed (EGY)
5) Gregoire Marche (FRA)
6) Lucas Serme (FRA)
7) Campbell Grayson (NZL)
8) George Parker (ENG)
9) Olli Tuominen (FIN)
10) Mazen Gamal (EGY)
11) Auguste Dussourd (FRA)
12) Shehab Essam (EGY)
13) Bernat Jaume (ESP)
14) Charlie Lee (ENG)
15) Baptiste Masotti (FRA)
16) Ammar Altamimi (KUW)
17) Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA)
18) Patrick Rooney (ENG)
19) David Baillargeon (CAN)
20) Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP)
21) Jaymie Haycocks (ENG)
22) Aqeel Rehman (AUT)
Wildcard: Benjamin Aubert (FRA)
Wildcard: Vincent Droesbeke (FRA)

Women’s Entry List:
1) Emily Whitlock (ENG)
2) Fiona Moverley (ENG)
3) Nadine Shahin (EGY)
4) Nele Gilis (BEL)
5) Milou van der Heijden (NED)
6) Julianne Courtice (ENG)
7) Alexandra Fuller (RSA)
8) Tinne Gilis (BEL)
9) Lucy Turmel (ENG)
10) Lisa Aitken (SCO)
11) Ineta Mackevica (LAT)
12) Rachael Chadwick (ENG)
13) Alison Thomson (ENG)
14) Milnay Louw (RSA)
15) Kace Bartley (ENG)
16) Chloe Mesic (FRA)
17) Cristina Gomez (ESP)
18) Hana Ramadan (EGY)
19) Cindy Merlo (SUI)
20) Jasmine Hutton (ENG)
21) Ali Hemingway (WAL)
22) Riina Koskinen (FIN)
Wildcard: Marie Stephan (FRA)
Wildcard: Julia Le Coq (FRA) 

Article by SEAN REUTHE (PSA PR and Media Manager). Edited by ALAN THATCHER

Pictures courtesy of PSA


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