A trio of Englishmen – headed by World No.23 Chris Simpson – were victorious on the second day of first round action at the Open International de Squash de Nantes, PSA M25 tournament held at the Cité Internationale des Congrès.
Second seed Simpson came up against tournament wildcard Geoffrey Demont in his opening round fixture and recovered from a slow start to rise to an 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 victory.
“I haven’t seen Christophe play much, but I’ve heard many good things about him. I know he’s not been on the Tour that long and I heard he is very good with the racket.
“It was the first match of the season, there are going to be a few nerves and I felt like I couldn’t let my head drop for one minute or otherwise he could come back.”
Tom Richards was the other Englishman to prevail on day two after he overcame Indian opposition in Mahesh Mangaonkar.
The match began on an even keel, with a series of punishing, attritional rallies playing out in front of a packed crowd, but Richards’ experience and patience eventually paid off and the 30-year-old wrapped up the win in straight games.
“I was trying to get a feel for the court, I felt pretty good, so I was trying to make it tough for him and put some miles into his legs,” Richards said.
“As the match progressed, I felt more and more comfortable on the court and I dominated the middle a little bit more than Mahesh. He likes to volley, as I do, and I think I slightly won that battle and that meant that I won the match.”
World No.50 Ben Coleman was the only Englishman to exit the tournament on the second day of action after he succumbed to Egypt’s Karim Ali Fathi.
2016 Open International de Squash de Nantes – Men’s First Round Results (Bottom Half)
 Tom Richards (ENG) bt Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 (45m)
 Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt Ben Coleman (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 13-11, 11-7 (59m)
 Declan James (ENG) bt [Q] Christophe Andre (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-2, 11-7 (37m)
 Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [WC] Geoffrey Demont (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (32m)
2016 Open International de Squash de Nantes – Men’s Quarter-Final Draw
 Daryl Selby (ENG) v [Q] Joel Makin (WAL)
 Olli Tuominen (FIN) v  Gregoire Marche (FRA)
 Tom Richards (ENG) v  Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
 Declan James (ENG) v  Chris Simpson (ENG)