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PARIS SQUASH 2023 DAILY

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

MONDAY, AUGUST 28 - # 1


DUSSOURD, BONMALAIS AND MARCHE DODGED THE RAIN

For the French contingent featuring in the first round of the Paris Squash 2023, the opening day was like the weather, with rainfalls and sunny intervals. Unfortunately all the French ladies bowed out, while in the men's draw Auguste Dussourd, Sébastien Bonmalais and Grégoire Marche joined Victor Crouin and Baptiste Masotti in the round of 32. On Monday, the best players in the world, male and female, will kick off their campaign.


STORY OF THE DAY: WE THOUGHT ANA MUNOS WAS GONNA MAKE IT – AND SO DID SHE ...

19-year old Ana Munos was the last Frenchwoman standing, and she pleased the crowd on Monday night. During two games, the World No.173 played like in a dream, wrong-footing Tomato Ho (WR24) at will with the boasts that she is so fond of and fist pumping after every winning shot. However, the player from Hong Kong was able to get into the match and steadily gained the upper hand, even though Ana never gave up and was in touching distance early in the fifth game. “From the third game on, she found more length, and I went at the front too early,” she told us after the match. “Right now, I am simply gutted but I am sure I'll see the positives with hindsight.” With the ranking points, she'll go up about sixty places, and it'll be interesting to see her performing on the Challenger Tour.

Ana Munos (in green) cause a lot of trouble to Tomato Ho before the higher-ranked player took the upper hand














COMEBACK OF THE DAY: ABOUELGHAR BACK FROM THE BRINK

After being sidelined for several months after a knee surgery, former world number 7 Mohamed Abouelghar (now ranked 40) is trying to get back to his best. The "Bullet" – his nickname on SquashTV - has had some good results since he returned, with some wins over Joel Makin, Fares Dessouky and Tarek Momen and we made him one of our dark horses before the event. However, the Egyptian was close to exiting early on Sunday in Squash Montmartre. Not only he was 2-0 down but he also saved one match ball in the 4th game against Germany's Raphael Kandra (WR32), before winning 11-9 in the fifth. On the same court, he'll face compatriot Tarek Momen on Monday, in one of the most awaited rounds of 32 in the men's draw.


MATCH OF THE DAY: BONMALAIS WINS THE ALL-FRENCH AFFAIR

It's tough to choose a singje match when there are 32 of them and you see only a few, but we decided to trust Jérôme Rideau, who attended the all-French affair on Sunday afternoon at the Stade Français. During 78 minutes Sébastien Bonmalais (WR30) and Lucas Serme (WR47) gave everything they had, and the higher-ranked of the two eventually prevailed. “I rarely saw Lucas being so aggressive, but Seb counterattacked very well. It was truly a great match, there was a good crowd as well. Lucas wished his opponent good luck for the rest of the tournament, and Seb said Lucas would have deserved to win as much as he did.”

Lucas Serme and Sébastien Bonmalais offered an amazing match to a packed crowd in Stade Français


THE FRENCH CORNER: FIVE MEN STANDING

As abovementionned the overall result was mixed for the French contingent on Day 1 (3 going through out of 11), although it must be said that most of them were facing higher-ranked opponents. Let's start with the good news ...


👉 A little tired after his superb campaign at the European Individual Championship (silver medalist behind compatriot Victor Crouin), Auguste Dussourd (WR21) went through a “very complicated match against a player who does not give much,” Hong Kong's Henry Leung (WR49). In front of a very partisan crowd, the man from Paris ended up winning in 5 games and will face Iker Pajares (WR20) on Monday at the Jeu de Paume. “If I am not ready for a fight I have no chance to go through,” he said.

👉 Facing someone “who may seem nonchalant but is capable of hitting amazing shots,” Grégoire Marche (WR22) was very convincing against Scotland's Rory Stewart and won in 3 games. Seeing the Acrobat feeding off the crowd energy reminded us that he won 3 times in Nantes open (see QUOTE OF THE DAY).

👉 We already talked about Sébastien Bonmalais above, although his win is only semi good news since he beat a fellow Frenchman ...

Auguste Dussourd was tired after a great campaign at the European Championship and he had to dig deep to overcome Henry Leung


👉 The biggest disappointment as far as French players was Mélissa Alves (WR21) losing to WR41 Katie Malliff. The lady from French Guiana had plenty of opportunities to swing the game in her favor, but never managed to completely relax. She was a little bit unlucky to get hit in the face – the match was interrupted for a few minutes - while she was building the momentum against a young English player who displayed remarkable retrieving abilities.

👉 There are no more French players in the Paris Squash 2023 women's draw. Despite an excellent start, Énora Villard (WR46) lost in 3 games to Malaysia's Aifa Azman (WR29), while Marie Stéphan might feel a little bit frustrated that she wasn't able to convert her performance into a win against Nadine Shahin (WR25)

👉 Like Ana Munos, Toufik Mekhalfi, Ella Galova and Antonin Romieu received a wildcard in the event. They lost in 3 games but gave a good account of themselves. Antonin saved five match balls in the third game vs. Mexican Leonel Cardenas (WR27) but it wasn't enough. “I know I can play better than that, but this experience only makes me hungrier,” he said after the game. With the ranking points in Paris, they will all move up in the world rankings.

Here is Monday's schedule for the 5 French player still in contention, with the best local hope Victor Crouin kicking off his campaign on the glass court:


👉 12:45pm: [17/32] Yahya Elnawasany 🇪🇬 🇲🇽 🆚 [7] Victor Crouin 🇫🇷 / Palais de Tokyo

👉 12:45pm : [17/32] Auguste Dussourd 🇫🇷 🆚 [17/32] Iker Pajares 🇪🇸 / Jeu de Paume

👉 2:15pm: [17/32] Leonel Cardenas 🇲🇽 🆚 [17/32] Sébastien Bonmalais 🇫🇷 / Stade Français

👉 4:45pm: [5] Marwan ElShorbagy 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🆚 [17/32] Grégoire Marche 🇫🇷 / Jeu de Paume

👉 8:45pm: [3] Mohamed ElShorbagy 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🆚 [9/16] Baptiste Masotti 🇫🇷 / Palais de Tokyo


MONDAY'S MENU: THE STARS LAND IN PALAIS DE TOKYO

As we mentionned yesterday, la crème de la crème will be on the glass court on Monday. If you plan to spend the whole day at the Palais de Tokyo, you'll see the men's and women's world's top 3 in action, it's as simple as that. The evening session is mouth-watering: reigning world champions Nour El Sherbini (WR2) and Ali Farag (WR1) will face fellow Egyptians Rowan ElAraby (WR10) and Youssef Soliman (WR11). Matches between Hania El Hammamy (WR3) and Tinne Gilis (WR10) are always physical and entertaining, no reason today's shouldn't be. The day will end with a clash that the crowd are eagerly awaiting, between the flamboyant Frenchman Baptiste Masotti (WR15) and Mohamed ElShorbagy (WR3). Like yesterday, there are 24 other matches in our 3 partner clubs, and we have chosen one to watch in each of them for you:

👉 You can't have a more even matchup on paper: Frenchman Auguste Dussourd (WR21) will be up against WR 20 Iker Pajares from Spain, at the Jeu de Paume à 12:45pm.

👉 At the same time, but at the Stade Français, the match between the "Colombian Cannonball" Miguel Angel Rodriguez (WR14) and the up and coming Aly Abou Eleinen (WR23) has all the ingredients to be a classic.

Paul Coll v Karim Abdel Gawad is a round of 32 match between two former world number 1s ...


👉 On second thought, it's impossible to pick only one match at Squash Montmartre because the whole day is filled with CRACKERS. You have WR9 Tarek Momen v Mohamed Abouelghar for a late lunch before the fireworks: WR7 Nele Gilis will be facing double World Junior Champion Amina Orfi at 5:30pm before the clash between two former world number 1s, current WR5 Paul Coll and WR11 Karim Abdel Gawad.


NUMBERS OF THE DAY: 19/3

These are the win/lose ratio of 16-year old Amina Orfi since she started playing in PSA in September of 2022. On Sunday, she comprehensively dispatched Alexandra Fuller (WR26) in round 1, proving if need be that she plays well above her ranking of 43.


PIC OF THE DAY

This is a stunning view, of two players warming up side by side with the Palais de Tokyo as a backdrop. Unfortunately for the home crowd, French number 1 Mélissa Alves (on the right) lost to young Katie Malliff from England.


QUOTE OF THE DAY

"If some of you were in the stands at the open de Nantes, please do the same!" Grégoire Marche, answering to Camille Serme asking him if he had anything to say to lift the crowd for the next rounds at the Palais de Tokyo.

A 3-time winner of the open de Nantes, Grégoire Marche likes to play in front of his home crowd


MORE

📺 Glass court matches are shown for free on Sport en France with commentary in French.

📺 Side court matches are shown on SquashTV.


Results, schedule, venues etc. => live scoring



By Jérôme Elhaïk

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