Top seeds Gregoire Marche and Millie Tomlinson prevailed on day two of the 2017 Open International de Squash de Nantes to earn their places in the semi-finals of the men’s and women’s events, respectively, in Les Machines de l’île.
Marche, the 2015 and 2016 champion, moved to within one win of a third successive final in Nantes after the World No.23 overcame Chris Simpson in a repeat of last year’s final, beating the Englishman 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 in 46 minutes.
“I was excited about my shots and keeping the crowd entertained as well, it’s what I play for. I’m so happy to be here and playing and to be in the semi-finals of the first tournament of the season.
“It would mean a lot to reach the final, it’s been almost two years that I have played regularly on the Tour, so to end this tournament by reaching the final would be the greatest feeling.”
Tomlinson will meet fourth seed Nele Gilis in the semi-finals of the women’s event after they claimed respective wins over qualifying duo Sivasangari Subramaniam and Nouran El Torky.
Tomlinson was almost on the end of a shock defeat after going two games down to Malaysia’s Subramaniam, who played with a maturity beyond her 18 years.
The World No.22 eventually found her range in the third though and a determined response saw her ease to victory before following that up by edging the fourth and fifth games to seal an 6-11, 6-11, 11-1, 11-9, 11-9 triumph.
Millie Tomlinson (left) v Sivasangari Subramaniam (right)
“I started slowly again like I did in the first round, it seems to be a theme this season so I will try to get over that going into the next round,” said Tomlinson.
“I watched a few clips of her before so I knew she was a good player and I expected her to be tricky and fast.
“It was amazing to play on the glass court. I think it’s the best atmosphere I’ve ever played in so it’s really cool with the crowd.”
Gilis, meanwhile was in complete control for the majority of her match against El Torky, claiming comfortable wins in the first and third games either side of a tight tie-break triumph in the second as she claimed an 11-6, 12-10, 11-5 victory.
“I’m very happy,” Gilis said.
“I didn’t come into this tournament with any expectations because it’s the first tournament of the season. I just try to enjoy and focus on my own game and see where it takes me.”
The Open International de Squash de Nantes continues with the second day of quarter-final action on between September 8 and it will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).
Results – Quarter Finals (Top Half) : 2017 Men’s Open International de Squash de Nantes
 Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Olli Tuominen (FIN) 3-1: 11-6, 11-4, 10-12, 11-7 (39m)
 Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt  Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (46m)
Draw – Men’s Quarter-Finals (Bottom Half): To Be Played September 8th
 Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v  Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
Ben Coleman (ENG) v  Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
Draw – Men’s Semi-Finals (Top Half): To Be Played September 9th
 Gregoire Marche (FRA) v  Mazen Hesham (EGY)
 Nicolas Mueller (SUI) or  Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) v Ben Coleman (ENG) or  Mathieu Castagnet
Results – Quarter Finals (Top Half): 2017 Women’s Open International de Squash de Nantes
 Nele Gilis (BEL) bt [Q] Nouran El Torky (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 12-10, 11-5 (35m)
 Millie Tomlinson (ENG) bt [Q] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 3-2: 6-11, 6-11, 11-1, 11-9, 11-9 (51m)
Draw – Women’s Quarter-Finals (Bottom Half): To Be Played September 8th
 Coline Aumard (FRA) v  Hollie Naughton (CAN)
 Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) bt  Fiona Moverley (ENG)
Draw – Women’s Semi-Finals (Top Half): To Be Played September 9th
 Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v  Nele Gilis (BEL)
 Coline Aumard (FRA) or  Hollie Naughton (CAN) v  Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) or  Fiona Moverley (ENG)