World No.126 Baptiste Masotti is the highest-ranked Frenchman left in the PSA Angers tournament after he sealed his place in the quarter-final stage of the PSA M5 event courtesy of a superb come-from-behind victory against England’s Robert Dadds.
Masotti looked like he was heading to an ignominious exit on home soil after going two games behind against an opponent ranked 98 places below him in the World Rankings. However, Masotti showed his class by narrowly edging a crucial third game, and that victory proved to the catalyst for his win as he followed that up with two more triumphs in games four and five to prevail 8-11, 2-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-6.
He will face fellow Frenchman Vincent Droesbeke for a place in the semi-final after his first round opponent, Christophe Andre, bowed out in the fourth game of their clash due to injury.
Home qualifier Fabien Verseille also overturned a two-game deficit to advance as he defeated compatriot Benjamin Aubert. Verseille was due to play number three seed Robert Downer in the last eight after the Englishman beat 16-year-old Victor Crouin, but Downer has had to pull out of the tournament, meaning that Verseille receives a walkover through to the semi-final.
Seventh seed Auguste Dussourd is another Frenchman to reach the quarter-final after he came back from 2-1 down to eliminate countryman Enzo Coriglio. Top seed Angus Gillams is likely to represent a stern test for Dussourd in the next round after he axed Dani Pascual in four.
“It was a good match, a tough 3-1 win,” said Gillams.
“The first two games, I thought I played really well, and then I lost a bit of concentration in the third. In the fourth, I got it back together to win 11-1. It was good overall.
“It’s a really good atmosphere at the club to be honest, the crowd really get into it and let their feelings know. I love the pressure [of being top seed], it’s what I thrive on. It’s a good pressure, it makes me play my best squash, I think.”
Local player Yann Perrin will join his French compatriots in the last eight after easing past Finland’s Jaakko Vähäma and he will play Carlos Cornes Ribadas, whose last appearance in France saw him lift a maiden PSA World Tour title at the Seapiax Open Lorient.
Watch the highlights of the first round action below
Results – First Round: PSA Angers 2016
 Angus Gillams (ENG) bt Dani Pascual (ESP) 3-1: 11-4, 11-5, 10-12, 11-1
 Auguste Dussourd (FRA) bt Enzo Corigliano (FRA) 3-2: 8-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7
 Baptiste Masotti (FRA) bt Robert Dadds (ENG) 3-2: 8-11, 2-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-6
[Q] Vincent Droesbeke (FRA) bt  Christophe Andre (FRA) 3-1: 11-13, 11-7, 11-9, 7-3 ret.
 Robert Downer (ENG) bt [Q] Victor Crouin (FRA) 3-1: 11-9, 11-9, 3-11, 11-8
[Q] Fabien Verseille (FRA) bt  Benjamin Aubert (FRA) 3-2: 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6
[Q] Yann Perrin (FRA) bt  Jaakko Vahamaa (FIN) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-1
 Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP) bt Roee Avraham (ISR) 3-1: 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5
Draw – Quarter-Final
 Angus Gillams (ENG) v  Auguste Dussourd (FRA)
 Baptiste Masotti (FRA) v [Q] Vincent Droesbeke (FRA)
 Robert Downer (ENG) v [Q] Fabien Verseille (FRA)
[Q] Yann Perrin (FRA) v  Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP)