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Pictures by Philippe Rochais

Nantes Open Men's QF Roundup: English Finalist Guaranteed

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There is guaranteed to be an English finalist in the 2016 Open International de Squash de Nantes, PSA M25 tournament after World No.19 Daryl Selby, World No.23 Chris Simpson and World No.26 Tom Richards all triumphed in their quarter-final fixtures at the Cité Internationale des Congrès.

Selby stepped up his attempts to win a first PSA World Tour title since 2012 after he dispatched Welshman Joel Makin in an entertaining encounter. An early 80-shot rally set the stall out for a high-octane affair, with Selby eventually winning in a deceptively difficult 3-0 victory to reach the semi-final stage.

“I knew that he was playing above his ranking, above his seeding here and it was a very tough draw and a very tough match.

“I tried to stop Declan from having the middle of the court because he’s very big and his skills are his strength, so I tried to keep it very tight. I thought I did that very well, apart from the second game when maybe I hit too many errors.”

Simpson will go head-to-head with Richards for a place in the final after Richards dispatched Egypt’s Karim Ali Fathi in a punishing five-game battle to progress.

The 30-year-old from Guildford went two games up and on the cusp of victory, before a tenacious display from Fathi brought the match back to all square. But Richards then dominated the court to build up seven match balls, and he converted at the second attempt to wrap up a punishing win in five.

“I switched off a little bit for the two games I lost,” Richards admitted.

“He played better, he played well, and I was really annoyed with myself after the fourth game. I just thought that I had done so much training throughout the summer, so I might as well give it all I can in the fifth and luckily it paid off.”

Defending champion Gregoire Marche is the only non-Englishman left in the draw after he saw off Finland’s Olli Tuominen on home soil to set up a mouthwatering semi-final clash with Selby.

2016 Open International de Squash de Nantes – Men’s Quarter-Final Results
[1] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Joel Makin (WAL) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-8 (58m)
[4] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [8] Olli Tuominen (FIN) 3-1: 4-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 (63m)
[3] Tom Richards (ENG) bt [6] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 3-2: 11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 8-11, 11-4 (77m)
[2] Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [5] Declan James (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 4-11, 11-6, 11-7 (56m)

2016 Open International de Squash de Nantes – Men’s Semi-Final Draw
[1] Daryl Selby (ENG) v [4] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
[3] Tom Richards (ENG) v [2] Chris Simpson (ENG)

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