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Open de France de Squash 2022
(also known as Open International de Squash de Nantes)


$55,000 Open de France 2022, Hangar 24, Nantes, France, PSA World Tour Bronze
(also known as Open International de Squash de Nantes)
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Open de France de Squash 2022
Men's Draw
12-17 Sep
Nantes, Fance, $55k

13 Sep
14-15 Sep
 16 Sep
17 Sep 

[1] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)
11-4, 11-7 (19m)
Nick Wall (ENG)

Marwan Elshorbagy
11-8, 11-9 (41m)
Declan James
Marwan Elshorbagy
11-6, 12-10, 11-13,
13-11 (69m)
Saurav Ghosa
Marwan Elshorbagy
11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10 (72m)
Victor Crouin
[9/16] Declan James (ENG)
4-11, 11-5, 11-9 (51m)
[7] Shahjahan Khan (USA)
[6] Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP)
11-8, 11-5 (39m)
[9/16] Lucas Serme (FRA)
Iker Pajares Bernabeu
11-4, 16-14 (42m)
Saurav Ghosal
[3] Saurav Ghosal (IND)
12-10, 11-4 (31m)
Charlie Lee (ENG)
[4] Victor Crouin (FRA)
11-3, 11-6 (25m)
Aly Abou Eleinen (EGY)
Victor Crouin
12-10, 11-6 (46m)
Leonel Cardenas
Victor Crouin
11-4, 11-6, 11-7 (45m)
Auguste Dussourd
[9/16] Leonel Cardenas (MEX)
11-8, 11-9 (30m)
[5] Omar Mosaad (EGY)
[8] George Parker (ENG)
11-3, 12-10 (28m)
[9/16] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND)
George Parker
14-12, 11-3 (32m)
Auguste Dussourd
[9/16] Auguste Dussourd (FRA)
11-6, 6-11, 11-0 (41m)
[2] Grégoire Marche (FRA)


[1] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) bye
Nick Wall (ENG) bt [9/16] Yahya Elnawasany (EGY) 11-7, 11-9 (26m)
[9/16] Declan James (ENG) bt [WC] Benjamin Aubert (FRA) 12-10, 11-5 (26m)
[7] Shahjahan Khan (USA) bye
[6] Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) bye
[9/16] Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) 11-6, 9-11, 11-2 (45m)
Charlie Lee (ENG) bt [9/16] Bernat Jaume (ESP) 11-9, 7-11, 11-4 (45m)
[3] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bye
[4] Victor Crouin (FRA) bye
Aly Abou Eleinen (EGY) bt [9/16] Mazen Gamal (EGY) 7-11, 11-8, 11-2 (41m)
[9/16] Leonel Cardenas (MEX) bt [WC] Edwin Clain (FRA) 11-7, 10-12, 12-10 (46m)
[5] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bye
[8] George Parker (ENG) bye
[9/16] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt Faraz Khan (USA) 11-3, 10-12, 11-6 (47m)
[9/16] Auguste Dussourd (FRA) bt Rory Stewart (SCO) 13-11, 11-5 (36m)
[2] Grégoire Marche (FRA) bye
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Open de France de Squash 2022
Women's Draw
12-17 Sep
Nantes, Fance, $55k

14 Sep
15 Sep
 16 Sep
17 Sep 

[2] Tinne Gilis (BEL)
8-11, 11-4, 11-5 (30m)
[9/16] Satomi Watanabe (JPN)

Tinne Gilis
11-6, 11-7 (19m)
Nicole Bunyan
Tinne Gilis
11-6, 11-3, 12-10 (32m)
Fayrouz Aboelkheir
Tinne Gilis
11-9, 11-6, 11-3 (49m)
Nele Gilis
[7] Nicole Bunyan (CAN)
15-13, 11-9 (33m)
[9/16] Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
[9/16] Nour Aboulmakarim (EGY)
11-6, 11-9 (22m)
[6] Énora Villard (FRA)
Nour Aboulmakarim
8-11, 12-10, 11-5 (33m)
Fayrouz Aboelkheir
Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY)
11-9, 15-13 (33m)
[4] Mélissa Alves (FRA)
[3] Tesni Evans (WAL)
11-6, 11-2 (18m)
[9/16] Cristina Gomez (ESP)

11-8, 11-7 (22m)
Nardine Garas
Tesni Evans
10-12, 11-7, 10-12,
11-3, 11-7 (77m)
Nele Gilis
Nardine Garas (EGY)
13-11, 3-11, 11-5 (35m)
[5] Lucy Turmel (ENG)
Salma Eltayeb (EGY)
11-5, 11-4 (13m)
[8] Cindy Merlo (SUI)
Salma Eltayeb
11-6, 11-6 (23m)
Nele Gilis
[9/16] Marie Stéphan (FRA)
11-6, 11-7 (25m)
[1] Nele Gilis (BEL)


[2] Tinne Gilis (BEL) bye
[9/16] Satomi Watanabe (JPN) bt [WC] Ana Munos (FRA) 11-3, 11-6 (12m)
[9/16] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) bt Saskia Beinhard (GER) 12-10, 11-7 (27m)
[7] Nicole Bunyan (CAN) bye
[6] Énora Villard (FRA) bye
[9/16] Nour Aboulmakarim (EGY) bt Nadia Pfister (SUI) 11-7, 6-11, 11-6 (25m)
Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY) bt [9/16] Julianne Courtice (ENG) 12-10, 11-5 (17m)
[4] Mélissa Alves (FRA) bye
[3] Tesni Evans (WAL) bye
[9/16] Cristina Gomez (ESP) bt [WC] Élise Romba (FRA) 11-1, 11-7 (18m)
Nardine Garas (EGY) bye
[5] Lucy Turmel (ENG) bye
[8] Cindy Merlo (SUI) bye
Salma Eltayeb (EGY) bt [9/16] Kenzy Ayman (EGY) 8-11, 11-9, 21-19 (50m)
[9/16] Marie Stéphan (FRA) bt [9/16] Tessa ter Sluis (NED) 11-4, 11-4 (14m)
[1] Nele Gilis (BEL) bye


Crouin and Gilis Claim Biggest Career Titles At Open de France de Squash

Victor Crouin and Nele Gilis with the Open de France de Squash trophy

France’s Victor Crouin and Belgium’s Nele Gilis both secured the biggest victories of their careers, as they won the Open de France de Squash titles at Hangar 24 in Nantes on Saturday night, as they got the better of Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy and Belgium’s Tinne Gilis, respectively.

Crouin came into the tournament as the brand new French No.1, having overtaken Gregoire Marche in the World Rankings following his exploits in the QTerminals Qatar Classic last week, and he lived up to that moniker throughout the week’s play in Nantes.

In his third final in as many tournaments, Crouin came up against Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy, the World No.9. In a mirror image of the first game of the women’s final, ElShorbagy had looked the more assured player as he took a 6-2 lead in the opener thanks to tidy racket work.Crouin, however, then put together a barnstorming run as he moved up the court and reeled off winner after winner. To the delight of the raucous and partisan home crowd, Crouin won nine consecutive points to incredibly take the first game 11-6.

The Frenchman looked confident at the beginning of the second game before his accuracy faltered and a resurgent ElShorbagy pulled level with an 11-9 win. ‘The Jackal’ then showed the form that saw him reach World No.3 in the third game, as he moved into his first lead of the contest, but back came the Frenchman.

Crouin rediscovered his blistering form from the opening game as he wrestled back the momentum to blast his way level with an 11-8 win to force a fifth game. With the scores at 9-9, the title was there for the taking for either man. Crouin was the first to make a move and had Championship Ball at 10-9, but was unable to convert. He then had another chance at 11-10, earned with a spectacular volley, and this time made no mistake, with the 23-year-old winning his biggest title to date with a 12-10 win.

Victor Crouin shows his emotion after winning the Open de France crown
Victor Crouin shows his emotion after winning the Open de France crown

“I want to thank all the people watching on SQUASHTV and all of the SQUASHTV crew who are doing an amazing job through the whole week, from morning until the end of the matches! Thank you for trying to improve the game and making sure that everyone can watch our sport from anywhere in the world,” Crouin said.

“I want to thank the organisation, everyone behind this event, the volunteers, the sponsors, the directors, it was my first time playing in the main venue as I’ve always played at the squash club, which is great, but I’m happy to play in this kind of venue and with you all supporting me on court.

“It’s been an incredible atmosphere during the whole week, from the very first matches. Thank you for your work through the whole week, you’re really helping to make this event even better, improving every year. The English is improving during the event, which is great!

“Thanks to Marwan, hats off to him because it’s definitely tough to play in front of a French crowd. You guys have been tough, although I heard some ‘Come on Marwan’ which I didn’t really like, it pissed me off and helped me to keep going!”

“He’s been World No.3 and has been trying to get back to the top of the rankings and is always trying to find ways to improve. He loves this game and that’s why he keeps going. We’re going to play in the future again, next week [at the Egyptian Open] possibly. I’m going to celebrate this win and then get ready for the next one.

“Thanks Dad for everything you do for me. He’s been watching matches whether it’s 8am or 2am, he’s always there behind the screen watching me and preparing me for matches the whole day. He’s very tough during my training blocks and we often argue, but that’s a dad-son relationship I guess! This season is off to a great start and I hope we can keep this relationship going and he can move me to the World No.1 spot one day!”

In the women’s final, Nele Gilis was in brilliant form to put younger sister Tinne to the sword and claim her first PSA World Tour Bronze title. Despite being the top seed, Nele went into the final with Tinne ranked one place below her at World No.13, and with Tinne winning their last meeting on Tour – which came in the final of the Challenger Tour’s Annecy Rose Open in April this year.

It was the younger of the sisters that flew out into an early lead in the opening game, but Nele was able to fight back to take a tight first 11-9. She was then able to extend that lead after winning the second. Tinne started to struggle in the third, and the World No.13 was able to cruise to the title, her first since winning the Squash on Fire Open back in 2021, and her second crown in Nantes, following her victory here in 2018.

Nele Gilis in action during the Open de France final
Nele Gilis in action during the Open de France final

“Nantes has always been a very special place for me. I always play so well here, in front of this crowd. I love coming here and today, playing in my biggest final ever, against my sister and in front of my mum and all these amazing people, is so special and I can’t quite find the words right now!” Gilis said.

“I honestly came here with no expectations. I just wanted to play good squash and see where it got me. Winning this tournament, I could only dream of it. To win here in Nantes, two times, is incredible. I can’t find the words.

“The energy you all gave me this week is amazing and thank you so much to everyone. I also want to thank Tinne for a really good match. She beat me last time so I really wanted to have my revenge today. She’s been playing so well and I almost didn’t believe that I could beat her. But I’m so happy and proud of her.

“Lastly, I want to thank all of the volunteers for making this event possible. It’s the best event on tour, without a doubt! I want to thank you guys so much because you do it for the love of the sport. It’s incredible, thank you so much!”

The next tournament on the PSA World Tour will be the CIB Egyptian Open, a Platinum level tournament, which will take place from September 19-25 in Cairo, Egypt. All the action from the event, which will feature squash in front of the Pyramids of Giza, will be streamed live on SQUASHTV.

For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow PSA Events on Twitter or Facebook, InstagramYouTube, TikTok.
Gilis Sisters To Meet In Final

Nele Gilis after her win against Tesni Evans in the semi-finals of the Open de France de Squash
Nele Gilis after her win against Tesni Evans in the semi-finals

The finals of the Open de France de Squash are set, and the women’s contest will see a battle of the Belgian sisters, as Tinne and Nele Gilis came through their respective semi-final matches in differing ways, and will now meet in Saturday’s final at the PSA World Tour Bronze level event in Nantes, France.

Top seed Nele Gilis came up against Welshwoman Tesni Evans, the No.3 seed, in the second women’s semi-final on Friday evening at Hangar 24, and the pair did battle in a high-quality contest for more than 75 minutes, with the Belgian eventually coming through to take the win in the fifth and final game.

It was Evans, the World No.20, who took the first game on a tie-break, but shorter rallies in the second game helped the Belgian to fight back. However, the same pattern then followed across the next two games, with the Welshwoman securing the third and moving back into the lead once again.

Back came Gilis for a second time, though, as she claimed the fourth comfortably, 11-3, to send the match into a deciding fifth game. The pair were then level in the fifth at 5-5, but some quick points gave the Belgian the momentum, and she was able to get to the victory in the end, to move through to the biggest final of her career to date.

“So many things were going through my mind, but I really enjoyed this match from start to finish,” Gilis said on court afterwards.

“I thought it was really good squash, really clean squash, we both enjoyed it, I think the crowd enjoyed it. When I went 2-1 down, in my mind I was thinking I’m almost on the plane home! But I’m glad I found a way to win. I want to thank the crowd because the energy, as players we can really feel it on court.

“It means so much. Coming back, this is my biggest final so far and I get to play it against my sister. My mum came over from Belgium so it’s going to be extra special. I’m really happy and I’m really excited!”

She will now face younger sister Tinne in the final, after the Belgian No.1 overcame the tournament’s surprise package, 16-year-old Fayrouz Aboelkheir, in straight games in the opening match of the evening’s action at Hangar 24.

Tinne Gilis plays a forehand volley during her match with Fayrouz Aboelkheir
Tinne Gilis plays a forehand volley during her match with Fayrouz Aboelkheir

The Belgian was 2-0 up quickly, winning the first couple of games by 11-6 and 11-3 scorelines, as she looked on course to seal her place in the final against Aboelkheir, who had grabbed headlines on her route to the last four after she dumped French No.1 Melissa Alves out in the second round.

The Egyptian teenager battled back in the third game to make it more difficult for Gilis, with the scores tied at 10-10. However Gilis was able to shrug off a valiant display from Aboelkheir to seal the win and earn a place in tomorrow’s final.

“I’m very happy. Tomorrow I’m going to play the biggest final of my career, so I’m very happy to get the win today. She’s a very young player, she’s only 16-years-old and reaching the semi-finals of a Bronze tournament is very impressive,” Gilis said.

“She’s obviously very good and has a bright future, but I was just trying to focus on my game because one bad shot and you’re under pressure so I had to make sure I stayed focused. I might have lost my focus a bit at the end, but I’m happy I found it again and a way out.

“Right now, I can’t believe I’m going to play a final tomorrow so I’m just going to let it sink in for now. I’m going to enjoy the rest of the matches, enjoy the crowd, it’s been absolutely amazing and I’m having the best week of my life. This tournament has been great and I hope the crowd is going to enjoy it tonight with some great matches coming up!”

The men’s final will pit Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy, the tournament’s top seed, against France’s Victor Crouin on Saturday evening. ‘The Jackal’ came through his semi-final against India’s Saurav Ghosal in a match that had three tie-breaks, two of those going the World No.9’s way en route to the final.

Marwan ElShorbagy on court with Saurav Ghosal
Marwan ElShorbagy on court with Saurav Ghosal

“I’ve played in the PSA for ten years, I’m loving this experience and I’m really happy me and Saurav put on a great show. It was a great match, very tough mentally and physically, he’s a great player and I think this is the first time I’ve beaten him on the PSA World Tour. He’s a top player and a player I really admire a lot, and I wish him all the best for the rest of the season,” ElShorbagy said.

“Saurav is a very skilful player, very fast to the front and he’s good with the hands. He took me out of my comfort zone and I found it a little bit tough to come back mentally from that, but I’m really happy with the way I came back in the fourth game.”

Meanwhile, in the final match of the evening, which started after midnight in Nantes, French No.1 Victor Crouin overcame compatriot Auguste Dussourd in straight games in front of a raucous home crowd in Nantes. He moves through to a third consecutive final to start the 2022-2023 PSA World Tour season.

“It’s great to play in front of that crowd. We don’t play that often in France, usually we just play local events and it’s nice to have a small community in a club to watch us and support us. This is one of the biggest events on tour, this is one of biggest crowds we have on tour and it’s very enjoyable to play.

Victor Crouin celebrates reaching a third consecutive final on Tour
Victor Crouin celebrates reaching a third consecutive final on Tour

“I think it’s the seventh time we’ve played against each other. I studied a lot today because I’m very studious. We know each other very well, it’s always a tough battle, I never feel comfortable playing on court against Auguste which shows how good he is.”

The finals of the Open de France de Squash will take place on Saturday, September 17, with play starting at 21:00 (GMT+2) at Hangar 24. All of the action will be streamed LIVE on SQUASHTV, with action starting at 19:30 (GMT+2).

For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow PSA Events on Twitter or Facebook, InstagramYouTube, TikTok.
Dussourd and Crouin Set Up All-French Semi-Final at Open de France de Squash

Auguste Dussourd celebrates his win over George Parker in the quarters of the Open de France de Squash
Auguste Dussourd celebrates his win over George Parker

The home crowd were delighted on day four of the Open de France de Squash, and Frenchman Auguste Dussourd and Victor Crouin both won their respective quarter finals to set up an all-French last four contest at the PSA World Tour Bronze level tournament.

Dussourd, who had already gotten the better of former French No.1, and the competition’s No.2 seed, Gregoire Marche, took on England’s George Parker in the opening men’s match of the evening, and it was a feisty battle between two strong competitors.

Parker got off to the perfect start by squeezing Dussourd on the side walls with tight lengths and cross-courts, much to the home crowd’s dismay. The Nantes crowd made their feelings known which only spurred on the Frenchman and although Parker earned two game balls at 10-8, back came Dussourd to force a tiebreak. He then took the game 12-10, letting out an almighty roar to his French supporters.

Fuelled by the home support, Dussourd marched on in the second game and utilised his low straight kills to test the movement of Parker. Parker’s resilience was starting to fade as the Frenchman gained in confidence. A brutal rally at the end of the second game went the way of Dussourd and sealed Parker’s fate. The Frenchman closed out the match 2-0 to reach the final four.

“Two days ago against Greg [Marche], I played well but I was proud of myself to win, I pushed hard and I’m glad I didn’t let him back in the match to win,” Dussourd said.

“Today was different, I was 8-4 down in the first and in another venue I might have lost 11-4 but not here. The crowd helped me and the people I have here helped me to push.

“The start of the season was not the best for me, I lost 3-0 in Qatar and had some pain in my leg so I was thinking that this would be the start of my season. I have trained hard all summer and was waiting for it to pay off and it has this tournament.”

Dussourd will now face compatriot Victor Crouin in the semi-finals of the Open de France de Squash after the French No.1 overcame the strong challenge of Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas, winning in straight games in the last match of the night’s play.

Victor Crouin celebrates after making the semis in Nantes
Victor Crouin celebrates after making the semis in Nantes

The pair had met five times before on the Tour before, with Crouin having won their most recent meeting, in the final of the QSF 2 in June. It was the Mexican who started strongly, with his pace and power proving difficult for the Frenchman to handle.

Both men had their chances to take the opening game, with it going into a tie-break, but it was Crouin who got the home crowd going, winning it 14-12. He carried that momentum into the second game, and was able to cruise through it, dropping just three points on route to a third semi-final appearance in as many PSA World Tour appearances.

“It was crucial to get that first game, just to get my confidence going more than anything. I could see he was getting a little bit tired towards the end of it and if you lose the first in best of three it’s so difficult to turn it around. I’m just super happy I stayed calm and composed and managed to take it one point at a time, but that first game was crucial,” Crouin said.

“He’s [Auguste Dussourd] playing his best squash I think, I was really impressed by how he played that last game today. It’s good to see him playing this way but I hope he has an off day today so I can have a comfortable win but I’m not expecting that at all, I know it will be tough but it’s nice to go back to best of five games.

“Auguste is one of the best French players and I’m happy with my first two rounds but I need to stay focused and hopefully we can have a good match tomorrow.”

Both of the women’s matches on day four of the Open de France de Squash went the way of the seeded player, with Belgium’s Nele Gilis and Welshwoman Tesni Evans setting up a mouth-watering semi-final on the glass court at Hangar 24 in Nantes.

The Open de France de Squash continues with the semi-finals on Friday, September 16, with the final four in both draws aiming to reach Saturday’s finals. All the action from the PSA World Tour Bronze level event will be streamed live from Hangar 24 on SQUASHTV, with action starting at 19:30 (GMT+2).

For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow PSA Events on Twitter or Facebook, InstagramYouTube, TikTok.
Aboelkheir Reaches First PSA World Tour Semi-Final

Fayrouz Aboelkheir celebrates her win over Nour Aboulmakarim
Fayrouz Aboelkheir

Egypt’s Fayrouz Aboelkheir continued her dream run at the Open de France de Squash on Wednesday evening, as she made it into her first PSA World Tour semi-final thanks to a come-from-behind victory over compatriot Nour Aboulmakarim in the last eight in Nantes.

The two teenagers went head-to-head with a huge opportunity to make the semi-finals of the Bronze level event, and it was 16-year-old Aboelkheir that came into the contest with a 2-1 head-to-head record over her compatriot, with the pair having played three times in Egyptian Challenger Tour events in 2021.

The rallies were short and sharp between the two with not much attritional squash taking place. In typical Egyptian style, the winners and errors were flowing from both rackets but it was Aboulmakarim who took the lead in the match, closing out the game 11-8 in just eight minutes showcasing her incredible finishing abilities.

The second game followed the same pattern as the first with both players firing the ball in short from the start of the game, looking to find winners at any opportunity. Aboulmakarim managed to pull ahead in the middle of the game to earn a two point lead and set herself up with three match balls. Back came the 16-year-old though, and she turned her aggressive play up a notch and thanks to some errors from Aboulmakarim, she equalised.

Aboelkheir managed to keep her focus in the crucial third game with the mental strength of her older opponent being put under stress. Aboulmakarim tried her best to battle her way back into the match but her concentration faded throughout the third. The 16-year-old kept a lead throughout the third game and closed it out 11-5 to move into the biggest semi-final of her career to date.

“In the second game when she was 10-7 up I just said to myself that I had nothing to lose,” Aboelkheir said.

“I tried to organise the way I was playing at the front and all credit to Nour, we’ve been training together back in Egypt and I know it's not going to be easy. Thanks to the crowd and my team back in Egypt.”

Aboelkheir will face World No.11 Tinne Gilis, the women’s top seed, in the semi-finals on Friday evening at Hangar 24, after the Belgian No.1 overcame Canada’s Nicole Bunyan in the opening match of the evening, winning in straight games.

In the men’s draw, World No.9 Marwan ElShorbagy, and the tournament’s top seed, had to dig deep to overcome 2018 Open International de Nantes de Squash champion Declan James in a tight two-game battle.

Marwan ElShorbagy in action during his semi-final against Declan James
World No.9 Marwan ElShorbagy

The Egyptian took the win last week in five when the pair met at the QTerminals Qatar Classic. This contest in Nantes was a high-quality affair, with both players finding their lengths and hitting some incredible winners. In the end, ElShorbagy took the win 11-8, 11-9, and will move through to the semi-finals.

“I played Dec last week in Qatar and it was very close, I’m really happy to get through today,” said ElShorbagy.

“I think he’s back playing at his best today which is good to see, he’s had a few seasons where it’s not gone well so I’m happy to see him back. I really enjoy watching him play.

“Playing in a venue like this and with a crowd like this, it’s just amazing. I’ve been playing PSA for the past 10 years and I’ve never played in a venue like this. It’s my first time here and I just have to thank all the sponsors and people who got this event on and I’ll be back for sure.”

ElShorbagy will now do battle with Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal in the semi-finals on Friday night, after the tournament’s No.3 seed overcame Spaniard Iker Pajares Bernabeu in a tight two-game battle. He won the first 11-4, before a 25-minute second game saw 30 points played. Ghosal saved several game balls before going on to win it 16-14 to advance to the last four.

The quarter finals continue at Hangar 24 on Thursday, September 15, with the bottom half of both draws taking to the glass court. Action starts at 19:30 (GMT+2), with all four matches streamed live on SQUASHTV.

For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow PSA Events on Twitter or Facebook, InstagramYouTube, TikTok.
Aboelkheir and Dussourd Among Surprise Winners In Open De France Second Round

Fayrouz Aboelkheir celebrates after her big win over Melissa Alves
Egypt’s Fayrouz Aboelkheir

On a very surprising second day at the PSA World Tour Bronze level Open de France de Squash, Egypt’s Fayrouz Aboelkheir and France’s Auguste Dussourd were among those that got the better of higher-ranked players to advance to the quarter finals in Nantes.

16-year-old Aboelkheir opened the evening’s glass court action, and she quietened down the home crowd with a confident performance to over French No.1, and the tournament’s No.4 seed, Melissa Alves.

The pair had never met on the PSA World Tour, and it was the young Egyptian that started the stronger of the pair, with her pace and power putting Alves off her rhythm slightly. She came through to take first game 11-9, to hold the advantage in the best-of-three contest.

The second game followed a similar pattern, as once again, it stayed within two points throughout. It went on into a tie-break, with Alves saving two match balls early on in it. The Frenchwoman then had her chances to extend the match but Aboelkheir was able to eventually come through it 15-13, to book her spot in the quarter finals, where she will face close friend Nour Aboulmakarim, who also caused an upset, as she defeated France’s Enora Villard in straight games on the traditional courts at La Maison du Squash.

“I am so happy. The court is a bit bouncy but I like it! All credit to Melissa, she is a top player and no-one can deny that. Being on court with here was a pleasure for me,” Aboelkheir said.

“Winning in front of this crowd.. Before the match, I was a bit worried, obviously being so loud and being against the French No.1, it was really tensing and all credit to her. I am happy with the way I played and I am happy to now be playing Nour [Aboulmakarim], we are good mates in Egypt. I am glad to be in the quarters!

“I started playing squash when I was 4 years ago. My mum would go to work and leave me there, I was like any other child, seeing a ball and racket, I wanted to play! It has been my dream to be in such big tournaments, and all credit to my coaches and family, they are the main reason I am here now. It is not about the quantity, but the quality of coaches and the people you have around you.”

The biggest surprise in the men’s draw came in the afternoon session at the traditional courts, as Auguste Dussourd came through the all-French battle against Gregoire Marche, winning in a deciding game.

Auguste Dussourd celebrates his win over Gregoire Marche
Auguste Dussourd celebrates his win over Gregoire Marche

The pair had met twice before on Tour, with Marche having won both of those, including at the CIB PSA World Championships earlier this year. Dussourd started well though, and controlled the opening exchanges to win the first game rather comfortably.

He went away from his gameplan in the second game, allowing Marche to fight back to level the match, but a sharp start from the lower-ranked Frenchman gave him the momentum early on in the third, and he went on to win it without dropping a point, taking down his nation’s former No.1, and to move into the quarter finals on home soil.

“I feel great! After a victory, it always feels great. I was playing well tactically. At the start of the match, I was controlling the rallies and the pace, but then in the start of the second, I was 4-2 up and I completely changed,” Dussourd admitted.

“I started to attack from the back, to cross a lot in the middle, so many bad errors. I was forcing my shots and he took the lead. At the start of the third, I had to make zero mistakes. If he was going to beat me, then he had to win all 11 points.

“When I don’t make mistakes, I am tough to beat and that is what happened, I was consistent, hitting it tight, and I think at 6-0, he started to break a bit. I felt it and I pushed more, going to win it quite comfortably in the end. I am proud of the mental part, and to be consistent feels really good!”

Elsewhere on the second day, the Egyptian duo of Nardine Garas and Salma Eltayeb also caused upsets, with England’s Declan James and Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas joining them in taking surprise wins to make the quarter finals of the Bronze level competition.

The Open de France de Squash continues tomorrow with the quarter finals taking place on Wednesday, September 14 at the Hangar 24. All the action from the last eight will be shown LIVE on SQUASHTV.

For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow PSA Events on Twitter or Facebook, InstagramYouTube, TikTok.
Eltayeb Survives Several Match Balls To Down Ayman On First Day Of Open De France

Salma Eltayeb celebrates her first round win at the Open de France
Salma Eltayeb celebrates her first round win

In the first match on the glass court, Egypt’s Salma Eltayeb came through a thrilling three-game battle with compatriot Kenzy Ayman, saving several match balls to win deep into a third-game tie-break to make it into the second round of the Open de France de Squash at Hangar 24 in Nantes, France.

The pair had met in the semi-finals of the WSF World Junior Championships, also held in France, earlier this year, with Eltayeb taking the victory that day, but it was Ayman who started the stronger of the two in their first round clash at the PSA World Tour Bronze level event in Nantes, winning the first game 11-8 with some quick attacks.

Eltayeb was able to turn that around in the second game, taking the lead early on and being able to hold it through to the end of the game. She won it 11-9, and then led 10-5 in the third game, serving with five match balls.

However, Ayman then proceeded to save all five to take the third game into a tie-break, one that would decide the match. She then saved a further two match balls at 11-10 and 12-11, before going on to have four in a row herself in the tie-break. Eltayeb had to save all of them, eventually saving six herself before taking the game 21-9 to secure her spot in the second round in Nantes, where she will play Swiss No.1 Cindy Merlo.

“Kenzy is a very good player. I said this at the World Junior Championships. We just played two weeks ago and Kenzy has always been beating me in Egypt, but here and at the World Champs, I have beaten her! It is never an easy game with her!” Eltayeb said of her compatriot.

“I was in the lead in the third game 10-5 and then she came back to be up in the tie-break. That proves how good she is and I am so happy I got the win. We are both good players, so it is always 50/50.

“It is so different playing here, because you are with so many good players, so you want to perform to be at their level. That is what I am aiming for, that is my mission as I finish my junior career, to be there, or to compete against the top players on the PSA World Tour.”

The English duo of Nick Wall and Charlie Lee both caused first round upsets on the opening day at La Maison du Squash, getting the better of Egypt’s Yahya Elnawasany and Spaniard Bernat Jaume, respectively.

Lee had to fight his way through against the Spaniard in three games, after seeing Jaume win the second game to level their first round contest. Meanwhile, Wall was the victor over World No.44, taking two tight games to win 2-0, and set up a clash with top seed Marwan ElShorbagy on Tuesday.

Nick Wall in action during the opening day in Nantes
Nick Wall in action during the opening day in Nantes

“It was my first tournament playing best-of-three, so that was interesting, I think it suits me because I like to play quite explosively, also, putting pressure on with longer rallies. First match of the season as well for me, you don’t know really where your level is. I tried to find my foundation and basics,” Wall explained.

“Tomorrow, it’s going to be a tough one against Marwan obviously, but the pressure is off a little bit more, hopefully, I can let my arm go and really try and take it to him, see what I can do.”

Elsewhere, Auguste Dussourd delighted the home crowd on the glass court with a straight games victory over Scotland’s Rory Stewart, and he will now face compatriot and No.2 seed Gregoire Marche in the last 16 of the Bronze level competition.

All the action from the Open de France de Squash will be shown live on SQUASHTV.

For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow PSA Events on Twitter or Facebook, InstagramYouTube, TikTok.

Elshorbagy & King Top Draws For Return Of Open De France De Squash

World No.5 Joelle King

The main draws of the Open de France de Squash in Nantes have been released with World No.9 Marwan ElShorbagy and World No.5 Joelle King headlining the men’s and women’s events, respectively, between September 12-17 as the PSA World Tour Bronze event returns to the calendar for the first time since 2019.

The event will use a best-of-three games scoring format up to and including the quarter-finals, before reverting to the traditional best of five scoring format for the semi-finals and finals.

The top seed in the men’s event, ElShorbagy, will open his campaign on day two against England’s Nick Wall or Egypt’s Yahya Elnawasany, who will play on the opening day. ElShorbagy’s last event win came in October 2020 when he won the CIB PSA World Tour Finals. That match was also his last appearance in a final, so he will be determined to capitalise on his No.1 seeding.

World No.9 Marwan ElShorbagy

Three-time champion Gregoire Marche is the No.2 seed for this year's event, and after receiving a bye in round one will face tough competition in round two as he faces either compatriot Auguste Dussourd or Scotland’s Rory Stewart. Marche and Dussourd played out a tough five-game match at the 2021-22 PSA World Championships, which the elder Frenchman took in 71 minutes. Meanwhile, Stewart will be full of confidence after an impressive showing at the Commonwealth Games as he takes part in his first PSA Bronze event.

France’s World Games Gold medalist Victor Crouin comes in as the No.4 seed for the tournament as he looks to start his new season on the front foot. Crouin beat No.2 seed Marche in the final of the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama less than a month ago and currently sits at his highest world ranking at No.18.

Aside from Dussourd against Stewart, another exciting match on day one will pit England’s George Parker up against Egypt’s Aly Abou Eleinen. The Egyptian currently sits at No.60 in the PSA World Rankings but produced two amazing performances at last season’s El Gouna International, beating established players Omar Mosaad and Saurav Ghosal to take his place in the last 16 as a wildcard.

In the women’s event, New Zealand No.1 King leads the draw and will make her Open de France debut. King has won 14 titles throughout her career and will start on day two against either Japan’s Satomi Watanabe or wildcard Ana Munos from France.

The Gilis sisters, Nele and Tinne, from Belgium, are the No.2 & No.3 seeds for the tournament and sit next to each other in the current world rankings at No.12 & No.13.

Nele has reached the final of this event twice, winning it in 2018 after beating Emily Whitlock in a 72-minute final. After an injury at the start of last season, Tinne finished the 2021-22 season in terrific style, picking up two PSA titles in Dublin and Annecy as well as reaching the quarter-finals at the British Open and the El Gouna International. She also picked up a Gold medal at the World Games, so poses a big threat to the top two seeds.

Unseeded Egyptian teenager Kenzy Ayman is a player to watch out for in this year’s event. The 18-year-old has already reached five PSA finals in her career, picking up one title. She also produced a great performance to trouble World No.2 Nour El Sherbini at this year’s World Championships in Cairo, narrowly losing out in four close games. She will also be looking to become the World Junior Champion before the Open de France de Squash takes place as she heads to Nancy for that event as the No.1 seed.

All the action from the Open de France de Squash will be shown live on

Tickets can be purchased via the official tournament website. .

For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow PSA Events on Twitter or Facebook, InstagramYouTube, TikTok.