Gregoire Marche is through to the semi finals of the Open de France – Nantes after a spectacular victory over Germany’s Simon Rösner, the top seed at the event.
Marche came out of the blocks firing, allowing the German to score just three points in the first game. The pair then produced some enthralling squash in the second game, which the ‘Tree Chopper’ took 11-9 to take the match into a third.
It would be the three-time champion of the Open International de Squash de Nantes that advanced to the semi-finals, though, as he took the third game to rapturous applause from the partisan crowd in Nantes.
“There are no words to describe the feeling I have. I said earlier that this is the only place that I have ever had goosebumps on court. That was two years ago when I beat Mazen [Hesham] in the semis and that time, it was a big win for me,” Marche admitted.
“Today, to beat Simon, the No.1 seed, on that court and in these conditions, as well as it being the first time I have beaten Simon on the Tour, it is unreal. I just feel great and I am definitely going to enjoy my rest day tomorrow and then get ready for Friday.
“It was a tough battle mentally, so it is good to have a day off tomorrow. Joel is a really strong player. He had a really good season last year. I lost twice [to him]. He is really strong, he is tough to beat because he is really patient and he has good structure to his game. I will have to find some solutions to make him work differently.
“It is going to be best-of-five so it will be a different feeling, but there are no words for this crowd. For our sport, this is big, and it is the only time you can find it during the season, for us in France, and the audience are just spectacular.”
Result – Men’s Quarter Final: Open de France – Nantes
 Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt  Simon Rösner (GER) 2-1: 11-5, 9-11, 11-3 (47m)