Nantes changes name to French Open and upgrades to PSA Silver status
By SEAN REUTHE
The Professional Squash Association (PSA) have announced today that the Open de France – Nantes 2019 presented by Tailor Capital will use a best-of-three games scoring format up to and including the quarter-finals when the tournament takes place at the Chateau des ducs de Bretagne between September 9-14.
Formerly known as the Open International de Squash de Nantes, this year’s Open de France has been upgraded to a PSA World Tour Silver tournament and will boast its highest ever prize purse of $147,000, which will be split equally between the men’s and women’s draws.
The tournament will be just the third ranking PSA event to use the best-of-three games format after March’s Canary Wharf Classic and the PSA World Tour Finals, which takes place in June.
The Open de France aims to combine culture and squash and last year took place at the Théâtre Graslin, where more than 4,000 spectators witnessed world-class squash at the stunning 18th century opera house throughout the week as England’s Declan James and Belgium’s Nele Gilis claimed silverware.
“We are excited to bring world-class squash back to Nantes for a fifth successive year, and believe that the increase in prize money, change in scoring format, and incredible new venue will lead to this being the best edition of the tournament to date,” said Tournament Promoter Francois Le Jort.
“The timing constraints given the decision to play matches after dark has led us, for this year, to take the decision to adopt the best-of-three games format until the quarter-finals to offer as many matches as possible on the glass court. These will be held under a transparent dome in order to fully enjoy this magical place, the illuminated Chateau des ducs de Bretagne.
“We are excited to bring world-class squash back to Nantes for a fifth successive year, and believe that the increase in prize money and incredible new venue will lead to this being the best edition of the tournament to date.”
PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough said: “The Open de France has forged a reputation as one of the most atmospheric tournaments on the PSA Tour, and we are delighted to see them make the step up to a Silver event for the 2019-20 season.
“I would like to thank the organising team for their hard work in making this a possibility, and I’m sure that the tournament will continue to go from strength to strength this year.”
The opening round of the Open de France will be held at the La Maison du Squash, while round two will be split between there and the Chateau des ducs de Bretagne. All matches from the quarter-finals onwards will be held at the Chateau.
Action from the glass court will be shown on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the PSA World Tour’s Facebook page (excluding Europe and Japan).
Report by SEAN REUTHE (PSA PR and Media Manager). Edited by ALAN THATCHER.
Pictures by Philippe Piron / LVAN courtesy of PSA