Wildcard Andre Leads French Charge in Round One of Open International de Squash de Nantes
By ELLIE MAWSON – PSA World Tour
Wildcard and World No.209 Christophe Andre overcame Belgium’s World No.144 Joeri Hapers to reach the second round of the Open International de Squash de Nantes on the opening day of action.
Andre played better than his World Ranking suggests as he powered past Belgian Hapers at le Maison du Squash by an 11-4, 12-10, 11-7 scoreline in 36 minutes and will now face Finland’s number seven seed Olli Tuominen – who along with the other top eight seeds on the men’s and women’s draws received a bye into round two – for a place in the quarter-finals.
The Frenchman will be joined by compatriots Sebastien Bonmalais, Baptiste Masotti and Auguste Dussourd after they all prevailed in their respective round one clashes to complete a successful first round in the men’s draw for the home favourites.
Meanwhile, Chloe Mesic will be the only Frenchwoman in the second round of the tournament after her fellow countrywomen wildcards Julia Le Coq and Marie Stephan fell to England’s Kace Bartley and South Africa’s Milnay Louw, respectively, in round one.
World No.89 Mesic produced a dominant display to defeat Finland’s World No.115 Riina Koskinen in straight-games in just twenty minutes in the opening round and will now face South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller on the second day of action.
“I just tried to play my game and put some pressure on her and not let her create anything,” said the 27-year-old following her victory.
“I know Alexandra [Fuller] is a really good attacking player. I know her game and I like her style, so I’m sure it will be a good match.
“I love to play at this tournament, it’s amazing. It’s a huge event in this country and it’s fantastic for squash to have this event in France and hopefully it will keep growing.”
Elsewhere in the opening round, England’s Patrick Rooney and Scotland’s Lisa Aitken set up respective clashes with top seeds James Willstrop and Emily Whitlock.
World No.103 Rooney comfortably defeated France’s Rohan Mandil in straight-games in the opening round, while Aitken saw off Egyptian Hana Ramadan by a 12-10, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6 scoreline to ensure both players would get to play at the stunning setting of the théâtre Graslin tomorrow.
“It’s a tournament that I’ve always seen on the calendar and the atmosphere always looks great, so it’s sort of been a bucket-list tournament,” said Scotland’s Aitken.
“I get a chance on the glass court now, which is what we train for, those occasions where there is a massive crowd. The pressure isn’t on me and I just want to have a good shot at it and enjoy the occasion.”
Defending champions Gregoire Marche and Fiona Moverley will face Dussourd and Louw, respectively, at the stunning théâtre Graslin in the city of Nantes as they both look to get their tournaments off to a winning start.
Men’s Round One Results:
Shehab Essam (EGY) bt Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP) 3-1: 11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8 (61m)
Charlie Lee (ENG) bt [WC] Benjamin Aubert (FRA) 3-2: 4-11, 11-7, 11-1, 7-11, 11-2 (55m)
Bernat Jaume (ESP) bt Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) 3-2: 11-8, 8-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-6 (67m)
Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt Rohan Mandil (FRA) 3-0: 11-1, 11-1, 11-2 (21m)
Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) bt Ondrej Uherka (CZE) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-3 (38m)
Baptiste Masotti (FRA) bt Matias Tuomi (FIN) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-5 (34m)
Auguste Dussourd (FRA) bt David Baillargeon (CAN) 3-1: 3-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 (55m)
[WC] Christophe Andre (FRA) bt Joeri Hapers (BEL) 3-0: 11-4, 12-10, 11-7 (36m)
Women’s Round One Results:
Lucy Turmel (ENG) bt Cindy Merlo (SUI) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-2 (27m)
Alison Thomson (SCO) bt Ali Hemingway (WAL) 3-1: 9-11, 11-0, 11-6, 11-7 (38m)
Kace Bartley (ENG) bt [WC] Julia Le Coq (FRA) 3-1: 4-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9 (36m)
Chloe Mesic (FRA) bt Riina Koskinen (FIN) 3-0: 11-3, 11-0, 11-6 (20m)
Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt Hana Ramadan (EGY) 3-1: 12-10, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6 (50m)
Rachael Chadwick (ENG) bt Jasmine Hutton (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7 (38m)
Milnay Louw (RSA) bt [WC] Marie Stephan (FRA) 3-2: 11-6, 8-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-1 (37m)
Ineta Mackevica (LAT) bt Cristina Gomez (ESP) 3-0: 11-2, 11-5, 11-9 (23m)
Men’s Second Round Draw – To be played September 5:
 James Willstrop (ENG) v Patrick Rooney (ENG)
Charlie Lee (ENG) v  Lucas Serme (FRA)
 George Parker (ENG) v Shehab Essam (EGY)
Bernat Jaume (ESP) v  Zahed Salem (EGY)
 Olli Tuominen (FIN) v [WC] Christophe Andre (FRA)
Baptiste Masotti (FRA) v  Campbell Grayson (NZL)
 Gregoire Marche (FRA) v Auguste Dussourd (FRA)
Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) v  Declan James (ENG)
Women’s Second Round Draw – To be played September 5:
 Emily Whitlock (ENG) v Lisa Aitken (SCO)
Kace Bartley (ENG) v  Julianne Courtice (ENG)
 Milou van der Heijden (NED) v Lucy Turmel (ENG)
Alison Thomson (SCO) v  Nadine Shahin (EGY)
 Nele Gilis (BEL) v Rachael Chadwick (ENG)
Chloe Mesic (FRA) v  Alexandra Fuller (RSA)
 Tinne Gilis (BEL) v Ineta Mackevica (LAT)
Milnay Louw (RSA) v  Fiona Moverley (ENG)
Pictures courtesy of: PSA World Tour