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Hana Ramadan (left) v Rachael Chadwick (right) in the 2016 Women's Open International de Squash de Nantes final

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

There is less than one week to go until live squash is back on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player with the Open International de Squash de Nantes taking place between September 6-10.

This year has seen the women’s prize purse increase from $5,000 to $15,000 and to get you in the mood for what promises to be a great week of squash, join us as we take a look back at last year’s Open International de Squash de Nantes – when a women’s event featured for the first time.

Round one – results

[7] Tessa ter Sluis (NED) bt [Q] Cindy Merlo (SUI) 3-1: 10-12, 11-6, 12-10, 11-9 (32m)
[8] Laura Pomportes (FRA) bt [Q] Marina De Juan Gallach (ESP) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (25m)
[5] Nadia Pfister (SUI) bt Marta Latorre (ESP) 3-2: 9-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9, 14-12 (54m)
[6] Rachael Chadwick (ENG) bt [Q] Charlotte Delsinne (FRA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 (20m)
[3] Hana Ramadan (EGY) bt [WC] Sarah Mekhalfi (FRA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-1, 11-5 (15m)
[1] Chloe Mesic (FRA) bt Nia Davies (WAL) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 12-10 (20m)
[Q] Julianne Courtice (ENG) bt [4] Enora Villard (FRA) 3-1: 11-3, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9 (46m)
[2] Alexandra Fuller (RSA) bt Elise Romba (FRA) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 (19m)

French duo Chloe Mesic and Laura Pomportes gave the crowd something to shout about on the opening day of the women’s draw last year as the pair were the only home players to make it through to the quarter finals.

Top seed Mesic came up against Wales’ Nia Davies in her first-round encounter and eased into a 2-0 lead after storming out of the traps. Davies managed to up her game in the third to push Mesic, but the Frenchwoman was not to be denied on home turf as she held on to push an 11-3, 11-4, 12-10 victory over the line.

Pomportes, meanwhile, produced a dominant performance to blitz past Spanish qualifier Marina De Juan Gallach and set up a quarter-final clash with her compatriot.

Elsewhere, the second highest ranked Frenchwoman in the draw, Enora Villard, fell to a surprise 3-1 defeat against Julianne Courtice. Villard was the heavy favourite, given that at the time she was ranked 115 places above Courtice, but a fine display from the Englishwoman saw her claim victory.

Second seed Alexandra Fuller also made her way through to the last eight courtesy of a comfortable straight games win against France’s Elisa Romba.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Hana Ramadan and England’s Rachael Chadwick also got through their respective round one fixtures against French pair Sarah Mekhalfi and Charlotte Delsinne.

Quarter-finals – results

[3] Hana Ramadan (EGY) bt [7] Tessa ter Sluis (NED) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 12-10 (21m)
[8] Laura Pomportes (FRA) bt [1] Chloe Mesic (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (25m)
[Q] Julianne Courtice (ENG) bt [5] Nadia Pfister (SUI) 3-0: 11-3, 11-3, 11-5 (18m)
[6] Rachael Chadwick (ENG) bt [2] Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 3-1: 16-14, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7 (39m)

In the quarter-finals there were surprise results as both Mesic and Fuller exited the tournament after falling to surprise defeats to Pomportes and Chadwick, respectively.

Pomportes had been in good form leading up to the event and rattled off an 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 triumph to reach the last four.

Elsewhere, Ramadan axed Dutchwoman Tessa ter Sluis in straight games, whilst English duo Chadwick and Courtice both played above their seedings to advance, with qualifier Courtice seeing off fifth seed Nadia Pfister and Chadwick beating Fuller in four.

Semi-finals – results

[3] Hana Ramadan (EGY) bt [8] Laura Pomportes (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (32m)
[6] Rachael Chadwick (ENG) bt [Q] Julianne Courtice (ENG) 3-2: 10-12, 13-11, 14-12, 8-11, 11-8 (61m)

The semi-finals produced more entertaining matches as the Women’s Open International de Squash de Nantes continued with 18-year-old Ramadan securing her place in the final after she downed France’s Pomportes in straight games.

Ramadan overcame a nervy start against Pomportes, who was cheered on by the home crowd, but the young Egyptian held her nerve to win by an 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 scoreline.

Meanwhile, England’s Chadwick was pushed to four games by Courtice in a highly entertaining battle that saw both players take two games apiece to set up a tense fifth game showdown.

Chadwick stormed into an early lead in the decider and managed to fend off a late fightback from Courtice to secure a berth in the final alongside Ramadan.

Final – result

[3] Hana Ramadan (EGY) bt [6] Rachael Chadwick (ENG) 3-1: 12-10, 11-4, 2-11, 11-9 (35m)

Ramadan and Chadwick served up an entertaining fixture in the inaugural women’s final, with points ebbing and flowing between the pair before Ramadan took the advantage in the first game on the tie-break.

Alexandria-born Ramadan put in an immaculate display in the second game, doubling her advantage for the loss of four points, however, Chadwick refused to quit and came out fighting in the third, varying the length and pace of her shots to storm to victory and halve the deficit.

In the fourth and final game, Ramadan soon put herself firmly back in the driving seat as she recorded a 12-10, 11-4, 2-11, 11-9 triumph and captured her third PSA World Tour title.

“The atmosphere was amazing, everyone was very loud, very cheerful, and I had the pressure of not disappointing them and I also wanted to perform my best,” said Ramadan after the final.

“It was pretty exciting for me, but there was also a lot of pressure. I wanted to do my best, but I also lost my focus, which was a bit disappointing for me.

“I got a bit distracted [in the third] I felt like I was very close to winning and I lost my concentration. She was attacking and she was going for all the volleys and all the winning shots and I was standing at the back which was very negative.”

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

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