Day Four Roundup

Dussourd and Crouin set up all-French Semi-Final

The home crowd were delighted on day four of the Open de France de Squash as Frenchman Auguste Dussourd and Victor Crouin both won their quarter finals to set up an all-French last four contest at the PSA World Tour Bronze level tournament.

Dussourd, who had already gotten the better of three-time winner and second seed Gregoire Marche, took on England’s George Parker in the opening men’s match of the evening, and it was a feisty battle between two strong competitors.

Parker got off to the perfect start by squeezing Dussourd on the side walls with tight lengths and cross-courts, much to the home crowd’s dismay. The Nantes crowd made their feelings known which only spurred on the Frenchman and although Parker earned two game balls at 10-8, back came Dussourd to force a tiebreak. He then took the game 12-10, letting out an almighty roar to his French supporters.

Fuelled by the home support, Dussourd marched on in the second game and utilised his low straight kills to test the movement of Parker. Parker’s resilience was starting to fade as the Frenchman gained in confidence. A brutal rally at the end of the second game went the way of Dussourd and sealed Parker’s fate. The Frenchman closed out the match 2-0 to reach the final four.

“Two days ago against Greg, I played well but I was proud of myself to win, I pushed hard and I’m glad I didn’t let him back in the match to win,” Dussourd said.

“Today was different, I was 8-4 down in the first and in another venue, I might have lost 11-4 but not here. The crowd helped me and the people I have here helped me to push.

“The start of the season was not the best for me, I lost 3-0 in Qatar and had some pain in my leg so I was thinking that this would be the start of my season. I have trained hard all summer and was waiting for it to pay off and it has this tournament.”

Dussourd will now face compatriot Victor Crouin in the semi-finals after the new French No.1 overcame the strong challenge of Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas, winning in straight games in the last match of the night’s play.

The pair had met five times before on the Tour before, with Crouin having won their most recent meeting, in the final of the QSF 2 in June. It was the Mexican who started strongly, with his pace and power proving difficult for the Frenchman to handle.

Both men had their chances to take the opening game, with it going into a tie-break, but it was Crouin who got the home crowd going, winning it 14-12. He carried that momentum into the second game, and was able to cruise through it, dropping just three points on route to a third semi-final appearance in as many PSA World Tour appearances.

“It was crucial to get that first game, just to get my confidence going more than anything. I could see he was getting a little bit tired towards the end of it and if you lose the first in best of three it’s so difficult to turn it around. I’m just super happy I stayed calm and composed and managed to take it one point at a time, but that first game was crucial,” Crouin said.

“He’s playing his best squash I think, I was really impressed by how he played that last game today. It’s good to see him playing this way but I hope he has an off day today so I can have a comfortable win but I’m not expecting that at all, I know it will be tough but it’s nice to go back to best of five games.

“Auguste is one of the best French players and I’m happy with my first two rounds but I need to stay focused and hopefully we can have a good match tomorrow.”

Both of the women’s matches on day four of the Open de France de Squash went the way of the seeded player, with Belgium’s Nele Gilis and Welshwoman Tesni Evans setting up a mouth-watering semi-final.