Men & Women PSA Bronze $55k, 12-17 Sep, Nantes, France
The draws of the Open de France de Squash in Nantes have been released with World No.9 Marwan ElShorbagy and World No.5 Joelle King headlining the men’s and women’s events, as the PSA World Tour Bronze event returns to the calendar for the first time since 2019 from 12th to 17th September.
The event will use a best-of-three games scoring format up to and including the quarter-finals, before reverting to the traditional best of five scoring format for the semi-finals and finals.
Men’s top seed ElShorbagy, will open his campaign on day two against England’s Nick Wall or Egypt’s Yahya Elnawasany, who will play on the opening day. ElShorbagy’s last event win came in October 2020 when he won the CIB PSA World Tour Finals.
Three-time champion Gregoire Marche is the #2 seed and in round two as faces either compatriot Auguste Dussourd or Scotland’s Rory Stewart. France’s World Games Gold medalist Victor Crouin comes in as the #4 seed. Crouin beat Marche in the final of the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama less than a month ago and currently sits at his highest world ranking at #18.
In the women’s event, New Zealand’s King leads the draw and will make her Open de France debut. King has won 14 titles throughout her career and will start on day two against either Japan’s Satomi Watanabe or wildcard Ana Munos from France.
The Gilis sisters, Nele and Tinne, from Belgium, are the #2 & #3 seeds and sit next to each other in the current world rankings at #12 & #13. Nele has reached the final of this event twice, winning it in 2018 after beating Emily Whitlock in a 72-minute final. After an injury at the start of last season, Tinne finished the 2021-22 season in terrific style, picking up two PSA titles in Dublin and Annecy as well as reaching the quarter-finals at the British Open and the El Gouna International. She also picked up a Gold medal at the World Games, so poses a big threat to the top two seeds.
Unseeded Egyptian teenager Kenzy Ayman has already reached five PSA finals, picking up one title. She also produced a great performance to trouble Nour El Sherbini at this year’s World Championships in Cairo, narrowly losing out in four close games. She will also be looking to become the World Junior Champion before the Open de France de Squash takes place as she heads to Nancy for that event as the top seed.