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Gregoire Marche (left) after his win over Mazen Hesham (right) - all pictures courtesy of Hamish Irvine / PSA

Open International de Nantes - SF Roundup: Marche, Mueller, Gilis and Moverley Reach Final

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Defending champion Gregoire Marche booked his place in a third successive Open International de Squash de Nantes final after he defeated Egypt’s Mazen Hesham to set up a final clash with Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller – while Belgium’s Nele Gilis and England’s Fiona Moverley also triumphed in Les Machines de l’île to reach the women’s final.

Marche went head-to-head in a high-octane encounter with Hesham which saw Les Machines de l’île turn into a cauldron of noise as the home fans got behind the French number one seed.

Nicolas Mueller (left) v Ben Coleman (right)

“I love it when it is cold outside because the ball doesn’t bounce as much. I overdid it in the third, I went short too quickly and I felt too comfortable and he punished me severely. I’m very happy that I found my length again in the fourth and I think that was the difference in the end.

“Greg [Marche] and I go back a long time, we’ve known each other for 15 years, I think. We know each other’s game very well and we’ve got a lot of respect for each other.”

Meanwhile, Gilis launched a superb comeback from two games down to beat top seed Millie Tomlinson, with a 7-11, 11-13, 11-6, 13-11, 11-3 triumph sending her into an eighth Tour final.

World No.27 Gilis looked like she was heading home after a virtuoso performance from Tomlinson saw her rise to a 2-0 advantage but Gilis refused to back down and stormed back to win three games without reply.

Nele Gilis (left) celebrates victory over Millie Tomlinson (right)

“The first two games I was so nervous and a little scruffy,” said the 21-year-old Belgian.

“Then after the second game I tried to keep it more simple and it is just such an electrifying
crowd that they gave me that extra push I needed today and I was so happy to get the win.

“I’m really pleased with how I came back and looking forward to the final and whoever it may be. I’m just going to enjoy it and hopefully the crowd will be as good tomorrow.”

England’s Fiona Moverley stands between Gilis and the fifth title of her career, with the World No.24 seeing off Canada’s Hollie Naughton in straight games.

Naughton played some superb squash to defeat home favourite Coline Aumard in the previous round but Moverley played with unerring precision and confidence to record an 11-8, 11-5, 11-4 victory in just 24 minutes.

Fiona Moverley

“I’m over the moon to come through in three,” said Moverley following the match.

“It’s a really strong women’s draw this year and it’s a really open tournament. I know I’m seeded two and I’ve got to the final but there was no easy route to get there. Everyone is playing at a really high level and on any given day we can beat each other so it was really important to find my form and build myself into the tournament, which I think I’ve done.”

Live coverage from the final of the Open International de Squash de Nantes begins from 15:00 local time (CEST) on Sunday September 10 and all of the action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).

Results – Semi-Finals: 2017 Men’s Open International de Squash de Nantes
[1] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [3] Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-1: 11-6, 7-11, 11-1, 14-12 (58m)
[4] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Ben Coleman (ENG)

Draw – Final: To Be Played September 10th
[1] Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [4] Nicolas Mueller (SUI)

Results – Semi-Finals: 2017 Women’s Open International de Squash de Nantes
[4] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt [1] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 3-2: 7-11, 11-13, 11-6, 13-11, 11-3 (61m)
[2] Fiona Moverley (ENG) bt [5] Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-4 (24m)

Draw – Final: To Be Played September 10th
[4] Nele Gilis (BEL) v [2] Fiona Moverley (ENG)

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