The main draw of the Open International de Squash de Nantes begins today (Wednesday September 6) as the SQUASHTV cameras head to France for the first time in the 2017/18 season, with a number of the world’s top 50 players battling it out for the honours across both the men’s and women’s draws between September 6-10.
France’s World No.23 Gregoire Marche tops the draw as he looks to claim his third successive title at the tournament and will be hoping for the full support of a home crowd to spur him onto victory.
The Frenchman beat England’s Chris Simpson in last year’s instalment to win back-to-back crowns in Nantes after defeating Finland’s Henrik Mustonen in 2015 but faces tough competition this year from the likes of compatriot Mathieu Castagnet, Egyptian maverick Mazen Hesham and the ‘Swiss Rocket’ Nicolas Mueller.
Marche opens up against Egyptian qualifier Mazen Gamal on day one, while Castagnet takes on fellow Frenchman Lucas Serme. Hesham faces England’s George Parker, with Mueller lining up against Mohammad Alsarraj of Jordan.
Simpson, meanwhile, gets his tournament up and running against Shehab Essam and could face Marche in the quarter finals in a repeat of last year’s final if both players win their opening round fixtures.
The World No.35 is making his return to court following a hip injury which has seen him ruled out for the majority of 2017.
A women’s event will also be held alongside the men’s draw and has seen the prize purse increase from last year’s $5,000 to $15,000.
Top seed England’s World No.22 Millie Tomlinson will open proceedings when she takes on the tournament wildcard, France’s Julie Rossignol, in the first round, while Coline Aumard flies the flag for the French home crowd as she opens against a Menna Hamed.
There is also competition in the form of second seed Fiona Moverley, who faces Alexandra Fuller on day one and talented Belgian Nele Gilis, who will get her tournament under way against Hana Moataz.
Main draw matches will be split between La Maison Du Squash and Les Machines de l’île on September 6 while all matches from the quarter-finals onwards will be held at Les Machines de l’île.
Tickets for the tournament start from €6 and can be purchased here: http://uk.opensquashnantes.fr/
The Open International de Squash de Nantes will be the first tournament of the 2017/18 season to be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).
Draw – First Round – Men’s Open International de Squash de Nantes
 Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [Q] Mazen Gamal (EGY)
[Q] Shehab Essam (EGY) v  Chris Simpson (ENG)
 Mohamed Reda (EGY) v Olli Tuominen (FIN)
[Q] George Parker (ENG) v  Mazen Hesham (EGY)
 Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v [Q] Mohammad Alsarraj (JOR)
[WC] Auguste Dussourd (FRA) v  Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
 Declan James (ENG) v Ben Coleman (ENG)
Lucas Serme (FRA) v  Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
Draw – First Round – Women’s Open International de Squash de Nantes
 Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v [WC] Julie Rossignol (FRA)
[Q] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) v Rowan Elaraby (EGY)
 Zeina Mickawy (EGY) v [Q] Nouran El Torky (EGY)
Hana Moataz (EGY) v  Nele Gilis (BEL)
 Coline Aumard (FRA) v [Q] Menna Hamed (EGY)
Julianne Courtice (ENG) v  Hollie Naughton (CAN)
 Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) v Rachael Chadwick (ENG)
[Q] Alexandra Fuller (RSA) v  Fiona Moverley (ENG)