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PSA Des Hauts de France 2022


$6,000 Women's PSA Des Hauts de France 2022, Le Lil, Lille, France, PSA Challenger Tour 5
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PSA Des Hauts de France 2022
Men's Draw
24 - 28 Aug
Lille, France, $6k

[9/16] Edwin Clain (FRA) v [5] Andrés Herrera (COL)

[9/16] Edwin Clain (FRA) bt [9/16] Perry Malik (ENG) 11-13, 11-7, 11-1, 11-7 (62m)
[5] Andrés Herrera (COL) bt [9/16] Toufik Mekhalfi (FRA) 11-8, 11-6, 13-15, 11-7 (81m)

[9/16] Edwin Clain (FRA) bt [1] Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN) 11-4, 11-8, 11-2
[9/16] Perry Malik (ENG) bt [9/16] Elliott Morris Devred (WAL) 10-12, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9
[9/16] Toufik Mekhalfi (FRA) bt [3] Jakub Solnicky (CZE) 2-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 12-10 (84m)
[5] Andrés Herrera (COL) bt [2] Aqeel Rehman (AUT) 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-4 (72m)

2nd round:
[1] Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN) bt [9/16] David Zeman (CZE) 11-6, 4-11, 11-4, 11-8
[9/16] Edwin Clain (FRA) bt [6] Mohamed Nasser (EGY) 14-12, 11-6, 11-9
[9/16] Perry Malik (ENG) bt [8] Sam Buckley (IRL) 11-4, 10-12, 11-6, 4-11, 11-5
[9/16] Elliott Morris Devred (WAL) bt [4] Sergio Garcia Pollan (ESP) 7-11, 11-2, 11-9, 11-2
[3] Jakub Solnicky (CZE) bt Noah Meredith (ENG) 10-12, 11-8, 11-2, 11-8 (46m)
[9/16] Toufik Mekhalfi (FRA) bt [7] Viktor Byrtus (CZE) 7-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9
[5] Andrés Herrera (COL) bt Baptiste Bouin (FRA) 11-0, 11-3, 11-4
[2] Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt [9/16] Vini Rodrigues (BRA) 11-4, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5 (54m)

1st round:
[1] Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN) bye
[9/16] David Zeman (CZE) bt [WC] Macéo Lévy (FRA) 12-10, 11-7, 5-11, 11-8
[9/16] Edwin Clain (FRA) bt [WC] Guillaume Duquennoy (FRA) 11-8, 11-2, 12-10
[6] Mohamed Nasser (EGY) bye
[8] Sam Buckley (IRL) bye
[9/16] Perry Malik (ENG) bt Hasnaat Farooqi (ENG) 8-11, 11-0, 11-3, 11-7
[9/16] Elliott Morris Devred (WAL) bt [WC] Lowie Delbeke (BEL) 11-4, 11-3, 11-7
[4] Sergio Garcia Pollan (ESP) bye
[3] Jakub Solnicky (CZE) bye
Noah Meredith (ENG) bt [9/16] Blessing Muhwati (ZIM) 11-13, 11-4, 7-11, 11-3, 11-7 (44m)
[9/16] Toufik Mekhalfi (FRA) bt Laouenan Loaëc (FRA) 12-10, 11-5, 11-9 (34m)
[7] Viktor Byrtus (CZE) bye
[5] Andrés Herrera (COL) bye
Baptiste Bouin (FRA) bt [9/16] Lewis Doughty (ENG) 9-11, 7-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-7 (86m)
[9/16] Vini Rodrigues (BRA) bt [WC] Antoine Allard (BEL) 11-9, 11-9, 11-3
[2] Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bye

PSA Des Hauts de France 2022
Women's Draw
24 - 28 Aug
Lille, France, $6k

[1] Nardine Garas (EGY) v [2] Alicia Mead (ENG)

[1] Nardine Garas (EGY) bt [3] Torrie Malik (ENG) 12-10, 3-11, 11-9, 11-9
[2] Alicia Mead (ENG) bt [4] Ambre Allinckx (SUI) 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (25m)

[1] Nardine Garas (EGY) bt [9/16] Taba Taghavi (FRA) 11-5, 11-6, 11-7
[3] Torrie Malik (ENG) bt [8] Alina Bushma (UKR) 11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9
[4] Ambre Allinckx (SUI) bt Yasshmita Jadishkumar (MAS) 11-7, 12-10, 6-11, 11-7 (39m)
[2] Alicia Mead (ENG) bt [6] Léa Barbeau (FRA) 11-5, 12-10, 11-4 (23m)

2nd round:
[1] Nardine Garas (EGY) bt [9/16] Katerina Tycova (GER) 11-6, 11-1, 11-5
[9/16] Taba Taghavi (FRA) bt [7] Bruna Marchesi Petrillo (BRA) 11-7, 11-8, 11-4
[8] Alina Bushma (UKR) bt [9/16] Élise Romba (FRA) 11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9
[3] Torrie Malik (ENG) bt [WC] Pilar Etchechoury (ARG) 10-12, 11-5, 11-3, 15-13
[4] Ambre Allinckx (SUI) bt [9/16] Ninon Lemarchand (FRA) 11-6, 11-6, 11-7
Yasshmita Jadishkumar (MAS) bt [5] Katriona Allen (SCO) 11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7 (51m)
[6] Léa Barbeau (FRA) bt Sofie Hausknotzová (CZE) 11-4, 11-1, 11-4 (17m)
[2] Alicia Mead (ENG) bt [9/16] Kara Lincou (FRA) 11-2, 11-7, 11-8

1st round:
[1] Nardine Garas (EGY) bye
[9/16] Katerina Tycova (GER) bt Tereza Siroka (CZE) 11-3, 11-3, 11-3
[9/16] Taba Taghavi (FRA) bt Ana Munos (FRA) 11-8, 11-1, 11-5
[7] Bruna Marchesi Petrillo (BRA) bye
[8] Alina Bushma (UKR) bye
[9/16] Élise Romba (FRA) bt [WC] Chloé Crabbé (BEL) 11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 11-4
[WC] Pilar Etchechoury (ARG) bt [9/16] Anastasiia Kostiukova (UKR) 11-8, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6
[3] Torrie Malik (ENG) bye
[4] Ambre Allinckx (SUI) bye
[9/16] Ninon Lemarchand (FRA) bt Lilou Brevard-Belliot (FRA) 11-3, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6 (23m)
Yasshmita Jadishkumar (MAS) bt [9/16] Katie Cox (ENG) 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-3 (31m)
[5] Katriona Allen (SCO) bye
[6] Léa Barbeau (FRA) bye
Sofie Hausknotzová (CZE) bt [9/16] Kincső Szász (HUN) 11-3, 11-4, 11-7 (15m)
[9/16] Kara Lincou (FRA) bt Olivia Besant (ENG) 11-4, 11-5, 11-3 (11m)
[2] Alicia Mead (ENG) bye


Garas and Clain Take Maiden Victories

Nardine Garas and Edwin Clain (centre) on the podium at the PSA des Hauts de France

A week of firsts came to its conclusion on Sunday in Lille, France, as the PSA des Hauts de France titles were won by Frenchman Edwin Clain and Egypt’s Nardine Garas, who both secured their maiden Tour titles.

Clain came into the tournament as one of the unseeded players, and was looking to perform well as one of the Frenchmen in the draw on home soil. His week started in the opening round, where he got the better of compatriot and wildcard Guillaume Duqeunnoy in straight games.

He then defeated No.6 seed Mohamed Nasser, also in three, before coming up against the tournament’s top seed, Japan’s Ryosei Kobayashi, in the quarter finals. The Frenchman was in control throughout the contest, allowing the top seed to score just 14 points, as he won in straight games.

Clain took on England’s Perry Malik, who was also unseeded, in the last four, and he lost the first game on a tie-break 11-13. However, he fought back to win the next three games to advance to a first final on Tour. That stat got even better on Sunday afternoon in Lille, as he took victory over Colombia’s Andres Herrera, the No.5 seed for the competition. He won in four games in a 70-minute battle, to secure his maiden Tour title.

Joining him in achieving that goal was women’s top seed Nardine Garas, who did so in a much more comfortable manner, as she dropped just a single game across her four matches in Lille.

After a bye through the opening day’s action, Garas then defeated Germany’s Katerina Tycova and Frenchwoman Taba Taghavi across her first two matches to move through to the semi-finals, where she came up against Englishwoman Torrie Malik. The pair were level after two games before the Egyptian won both the third and fourth by 11-9 scorelines to move into the final.

In the final, her first on Tour, Garas took on England’s Alicia Mead, the tournament’s No.2 seed. The Egyptian took the victory in straight games, restricting Mead’s attacking opportunities, and securing her maiden Tour title.
Clain Continues Hauts de France Run As Finalists Set

The finalists are set at the PA des Hauts de France, and while it will be the top two seeds in the women’s event, the men’s draw has been surprising from the off, and Frenchman Edwin Clain will be in Sunday’s final, taking on Colombia’s Andres Herrera.

Clain took out the tournament’s top seed, Ryosei Kobayashi, in the quarter finals of the competition, and found himself up against another unseeded player, in Englishman Perry Malik, with the pair both aiming to reach the final of the Challenger 5 level tournament in Lille.

It was Malik who took the first game, one where both players had their chances, 13-11, before Clain then stamped his authority on the contest. He won the second game 11-7 to level the scores, before then allowing the Englishman just a single point in the third. Another 11-7 win came in the fourth, and what would be, the final game, as he won 3-1 to advance to his first final on Tour.

He will now face Colombia’s No.5 seed Andres Herrera, who was the last remaining seed in the tournament after knocking out No.2 seed Aqeel Rehman in the last eight. He took on another Frenchman, in Toufik Mekhalfi, in the semis, and apart from losing a third game tie-break, he was in control throughout. The Colombian won in four to join Clain in reaching a maiden Tour final.

While all the surprises have been happening in the men’s event, the top seeds in the women’s tournament have been going about their business. The top four all made the semis and it will be the top two seeds, in Egypt’s Nardine Garas and Englishwoman Alicia Mead, that will do battle for the title on Sunday.

Alicia Mead and Ambre Allinckx on court during their semi-final contest in Lille
Alicia Mead (fore) on court against Ambre Allinckx (back) during their semi-final contest in Lille
Mead won her semi-final against Switzerland’s Ambre Allinckx in straight games to make the final, while Garas had to fight her way past another English player, in No.3 seed Torrie Malik, winning in four games, as she booked her spot in her first final on Tour.

For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow PSA Events on Twitter or Facebook, InstagramYouTube, TikTok and SQUASHTV.
Wildcard Etchechoury Leads Surprise Wins

Pilar Etchechoury on court against Anastasiia Kostiukova in Lille

The opening day of the PSA des Hauts de France saw an array of surprise results in Lille on Wednesday evening, with Argentinian wildcard Pilar Etchechoury making her way into the second round of the Challenger 5 level competition.

Etchechoury, who was born in Argentina but now resides in Madrid, Spain, took on  Ukraine’s Anastasiia Kostiukova on the opening day of the competition, and the pair were level after two games, with the Ukrainian winning the second on a tie-break. However, from there, it was the World No.429 who took control, winning the last two games by an 11-6 scoreline to move through to the second round, where she will now face England’s No.3 seed Torrie Malik.

There were two other surprise results in the women’s event on Wednesday, with Malaysia’s Yasshmita Jadishkumar and the Czech Republic’s Sofie Hausknotzova making it into the last 16. They got the better of England’s Katie Cox and Romanian No.1 Kincso Szasz, respectively, to advance.

In the men’s draw, Frenchman Baptiste Bouin also scored a surprise win, in what was the longest match of the day’s play. He was on court for 86 minutes against Englishman Lewis Doughty, eventually coming through in five games, having gone two games down. He won the third on a tie-break to stay in the contest, before then winning the fourth and fifth games to book his spot in the second round.

England’s Noah Meredith joins Bouin in making it to the last 16, after he surprised Zimbabwean No.1 Blessing Muhwati, also in five games. Meredith lost the first on a tie-break, and then found himself 2-1 down, but fought back to win in five, after just 44 minutes in what was a quick-fire contest. He will now face No.3 seed Jakub Solnicky in the second round.

The second round of the PSA des Hauts de France will take place across two venues in Lille, France on Thursday, August 25, with the seeded players starting their campaigns in the French city. You can follow live scores from the Squash De L’Arbonnoise right here.

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

Barbeau Hungrier For Success

The sole event on European soil this week on the Challenger Tour will be the PSA des Hauts de France, which will see 48 players take to the French city of Lille in the hopes of winning the Challenger 5 even men’s and women’s crowns.

Japan’s Ryosei Kobayashi, the World No.76, will be the top seed for the men’s event, and will be the only member of the world’s top 100 in that 24-strong draw. Austrian No.1 Aqeel Rehman, Czech Republic’s Jakub Solnicky and Spaniard Sergio Garcia Pollan will make up the rest of the top four seeds.

Colombia’s Andres Herrera, Egypt’s Mohamed Nasser, Czech Republic’s Viktor Byrtus and Irishman Sam Buckley round out the seeded players, while the likes of Welshman Elliott Morris Devred, Zimbabwe’s Blessing Muhwati and Brazil’s Vinicius Leao Rodrigues will all be their country’s sole representatives.

The women’s draw will be led by Egypt’s Nardine Garas, who will be one of three members of the world’s top 100 in action. She will be joined by the English pairing of Alicia Mead and Torrie Malik, while Switzerland’s Ambre Allinckx, who is featuring on Tour for the first time in twelve months and is using her pegged ranking of World No.95, will make up the rest of the top four seeds.

Lea Barbeau will be the leading Frenchwoman in the draw for the competition, and we caught up with the World No.115 prior to the event getting underway. The 21-year-old, who reached the last eight at the Austrian Open earlier in the summer, feels good about where her game is at the moment.

“I feel great to be honest, but last season was really challenging for me. There were a lot of ups and downs, a bit more downs than ups but it’s part of life,” she admitted.

“I really grew from it and changed a lot in my daily life to be able to chase my new goals. I had a little break from squash this summer before the summer training, to come back stronger and hungrier this season. I think I needed it!

“You know if you are not looking for the win, why are you even competing? Every tournament is another chance to play your best, push as far as you can and as a result, win it! I mean, if I win my first PSA title in Lille I’ll be over the moon. The draw is pretty solid and compact, so I don’t want to look too far on it, I’ll take it one match at a time.”

Barbeau will be the highest-ranked Frenchwoman in the tournament, but she explained how she will not be feeling the pressure of that during the event, instead, taking it in her stride.

“It’s always nice to be the first of your country, but for me the pressure is not really about this, it’s about beating the girls above me. I’m proud of it and of course, it will push me to go as far as I can in the draw as a French girl. Regardless of the results, I want to be happy about how I play and behave on court.

The 21-year-old came close to breaking into the top 100 earlier this year, reaching a career-high of World No.101 in March. However, she has not given up hope of breaking into the top 100 by the end of the year!

I think top 100 was not meant to be in March for me, I wasn’t really happy about how I was playing and didn’t had any good results anyway. It would have been great, for sure, but it wouldn’t have been special, without like reaching a semis or a final on Tour,” Barbeau admitted.

“Now with my new environment, finally having a coach full time and new teammates, will obviously push me more. I’m hoping to break into the top 100 in the following month, or by the end of this year. So we will see how it goes.”

She will be joined in the women’s draw by seven more French player, including the likes of Taba Taghavi, Ninon Lemarchand and Elise Romba, all of whom will be in the 9/16 seeding bracket.

The event takes place from Wednesday, August 24 to Sunday, August 28 at two venues in Lille, France, where Lea Barbeau will be the leading Frenchwoman for the tournament. Follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.

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