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Gregoire Marche

Throwback Thursday: Story of the 2016 Men’s Open International de Squash de Nantes

The Open International de Squash de Nantes takes place next week and will be the first tournament of the season to be shown LIVE on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player.

To get you in the mood for a great week of action, join us as we take a look back at the story of last year’s Men’s Open International de Squash de Nantes.

Round one – results
[8] Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt Jens Schoor (GER) 3-2: 7-11, 2-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6 (60m)
[4] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [Q] Richie Fallows (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-2, 11-4 (33m)
[Q] Joel Makin (WAL) bt [7] Todd Harrity (USA) 3-0: 12-10, 11-8, 11-5 (48m)
[1] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-4, 11-5 (38m)
[5] Declan James (ENG) bt [Q] Christophe Andre (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-2, 11-7 (37m)
[2] Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [WC] Geoffrey Demont (FRA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (32m)
[3] Tom Richards (ENG) bt Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 (45m)
[6] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt Ben Coleman (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 13-11, 11-7 (59m)

The defending champion, France’s Gregoire Marche, sealed his place in the quarter-final of the tournament on home soil as he came out on top in a one-sided affair against England’s Richie Fallows.

The Frenchman started quickly and controlled proceedings throughout the 33-minute affair as he cruised to a 11-5, 11-2, 11-4 win.

The tournament’s top seed, England’s Daryl Selby, also got off to a strong start with a 3-0 win over fellow countryman Jaymie Haycocks, whilst another Englishman, Chris Simpson, overcame wildcard France’s Geoffrey Demont in straight games.

Meanwhile, Welsh qualifier Joel Makin came up with the biggest upset of round one as he bridged a 33-place World Rankings gap to defeat United States No.1 Todd Harrity at the Cité Internationale des Congrès.

Quarter-finals – 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)
[2] Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [5] Declan James (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 4-11, 11-6, 11-7 (56m)
[3] Tom Richards (ENG) bt [6] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 3-2: 11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 8-11, 11-4 (77m)

In the quarter-final,s it was a strong showing for the English contingent as Simpson, Selby and Tom Richards all triumphed in their respective fixtures alongside Frenchman Marche.

Selby dispatched Welshman Makin in an entertaining encounter as he searched for his first PSA World Tour title since 2012. Simpson also made his way through to the last four as he overcame Declan James in an all-English affair.

The then-29-year-old marked his 350th PSA World Tour match in style as he built up a one-game lead before James came back to level things. However, a number of unforced errors cost James as Simpson was able to close out the match and secure safe passage through to the semi-finals by an 11-5, 4-11, 11-6, 11-7 margin.

Richards came out on top in a gruelling five-game battle against Egypt’s Ali Fathi to secure a semi-final berth and make sure there would be an Englishman in the final.

Marche, meanwhile, saw himself become the only-non Englishman in the draw after he saw off Finland’s Olli Tuominen to set up a semi-final clash with Selby.

Semi-finals – results
[4] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [1] Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (48m)
[2] Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [3] Tom Richards (ENG) 3-1: 11-4, 7-11, 11-9, 11-4 (51m)

England’s Simpson and Frenchman Marche rose to respective wins against Richards and Selby to set-up the final of the Men’s Open International de Squash de Nantes.

Simpson, the number two seed, faced off with Richards in a thrilling spectacle that saw both players bring a vocal crowd to their feet. With the scores level at 1-1 after the first two games, Simpson eventually managed to gain momentum and he took the third and fourth games without reply to wrap up an 11-4, 7-11, 11-9, 11-4 victory.

Defending champion Marche continued to produce a strong defence of his title as he managed a superb victory over top seed Selby after a strong showing from the Frenchman saw him win in straight games.

Marche capitalised on a slow start by the Englishman and then showed no signs of letting up as he won by an 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 margin.

Final – result

[4] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [2] Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-2 (76m)

Marche completed his week of brilliant form with victory over Simpson in the men’s final of the Open International de Squash de Nantes to retain his title.

The Frenchman built up a one game lead, before Simpson fought back in the second to level the scores. The majority of the third game was neck and neck, with Marche eventually pulling away to restore his advantage and, with the backing of the home support, he was able to secure the fourth game to seal an 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-2 victory.

“I felt really good from the beginning,” said Marche after he successfully defended his crown.

“I found my length first, kept the same rhythm and I was in front of him all match. I was a bit nervous in the second game and I think, maybe one or two years ago, I wouldn’t be able to keep the same concentration like I did today.

“I’ve worked on this a lot since last year, so I’m really happy. It’s my biggest title on the Tour, so it’s a great day. Everything worked, the crowd was a big part of the story here in Nantes as well.”

European-based subscribers can tune into EUROSPORT PLAYER to watch all the action unfold, while viewers in the rest of the world can log into SQUASHTV.

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