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Sunday, June 20, 2021

PSA: Marche on the march

Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad and the new Squash 200 Partnership, building clubs of the future. Founder of the Kent Open and co-promoter of the St. James's Place Canary Wharf Classic. Author and Public Speaker.

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News from the PSA World Tour
RESULTS: Challenger 5 PSA de Baillargues, Baillargues, France

1st round:
[1] Thierry Lincou (FRA) bt Philip Nightingale (ENG) 6-11, 11-3, 11-2, 11-9 (37m)
[Q] Charles Sharpes (ENG) bt [Q] Nathan Lake (ENG) 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 (39m)
Joan Lezaud (FRA) bt [Q] Ondrej Ertl (CZE) 11-3, 11-2, 11-3 (22m)
Ben Coleman (ENG) bt [3] Piedro Schweertman (NED) 11-7, 11-6, 11-9 (40m)
Ben Ford (ENG) bt [4] Tom Pashley (ENG) 11-9, 11-7, 5-11, 11-9 (57m)
Johan Bouquet (FRA) bt Chris Fuller (ENG) 11-3, 11-6, 11-9 (47m)
Fabien Verseille (FRA) bt Adam Murrills (ENG) 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8 (47m)
[2] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [Q] Declan James (ENG) 11-7, 11-3, 11-6 (32m)
Quarter-finals:
[1] Thierry Lincou (FRA) bt [Q] Charles Sharpes (ENG) 11-5, 11-9, 11-5 (33m)
Joan Lezaud (FRA) bt Ben Coleman (ENG) 11-5, 8-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-3 (68m)
Ben Ford (ENG) bt Johan Bouquet (FRA) 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 11-2 (61m)
[2] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Fabien Verseille (FRA) 11-4, 11-7, 11-5 (43m)
Semi-finals:
Joan Lezaud (FRA) bt [1] Thierry Lincou (FRA) 9-11, 11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8 (55m)
[2] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Ben Ford (ENG) 11-7, 11-6, 11-4 (37m)
Final:
[2] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Joan Lezaud (FRA) 11-6, 13-11, 11-5 (57m)
Marche Marches To Home Success
Gregoire Marche celebrated unexpected local success in the PSA de Baillargues when he beat fellow Frenchman Joan Lezaud in the final of the inaugural PSA World Tour Challenger 5 squash event at BB Squash in Baillargues, France.

Second seed Marche, the world No55 from Aix-en-Provence, reached the final as expected after beating England’s unseeded Ben Ford in the semi-finals.

But the other semi provided a major upset when unseeded local hero Joan Lezaud, the 25-year-old world No 123, defeated top-seeded compatriot Thierry Lincou 9-11, 11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8 in 55 minutes.

The world No8 from Marseille was playing his first PSA Tour ranking event of the year after nursing an injury.

“I’m managing the effort, I’m managing the pain when I lunge, so I’m forced to play accurate squash,” Lincou told www.sitesquash.com.   “I did what I could on the day – but all credit to Joan, who played excellent tactical squash, and I’m glad he is playing a final in his home club.

“It’s such a joy to play squash again, to be able to express myself on court.  I’ve been missing it so much for the past three months,” added the former world No1 who celebrated his 35th birthday on the opening day of the tournament.

Lezaud, making his second appearance in a PSA Tour final, extended his higher-ranked compatriot for 57 minutes in the final.

But the day belonged to Marche as the 21-year-old closed out the match 11-6, 13-11, 11-5 to win the fourth Tour title of his career.

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