Mathieu Castagnet made it a pair of losses for the defending champions, as he defeated 2018 Open International de Squash de Nantes winner Declan James in three games.
James shot out to an early lead in this second round clash, but Castagnet reeled off six straight points to fight his way back into the first game. The Frenchman went on to take it 11-7.
The second game was much tighter throughout but the Englishman was able to pull ahead in the latter stages, going on to win it 11-9 to send the match into a decider.
However, it would be the Frenchman that took the victory, sending the crowd into raptures, despite the match finishing well after midnight in Nantes.
Castagnet will now face the tournament’s No.2 seed, Paul Coll, in the quarter finals of the event, with the pair playing on the glass court on Thursday evening.
“Declan [James] is a really good player, and he is great when he is in front of you, especially when volleying. I was being really careful on his forehand volley and I tried to play a really tight game against him,” Castagnet said.
“I don’t think it was a really bad two years with all the injuries because I learned a lot of things. I learned how to train differently and how to have a better strategy. You can always find a solution to come back better. It was really special for me to train nine weeks in a row during summer so I was ready for this tournament.
“We don’t have this chance to play in France that often, so when the organisers make it possible, we are so excited. Thanks to everyone that has helped to grow this event!”
Result – Men’s Second Round: Open de France – Nantes
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt  Declan James (ENG) 2-1: 11-7, 9-11, 11-3 (47m)