Marche & Moverley Secure Nantes Silverware
11 Sep 2017
Gregoire Marche and Fiona Moverley took top honours at the Open International de Squash de Nantes in France - Frenchman Marche winning the men's PSA M25 title for the third year in a row and England's Moverley landing the seventh and biggest PSA World Tour title of her career in the PSA W15 event held at Les Machines de l'île in Nantes.
World No.23 Marche, who beat Henrik Mustonen and Chris Simpson to win the 2015 and 2016 titles, overcame Switzerland's Nicolas Mueller in a brutal five-game clash which saw both players enjoy periods of dominance as they were roared on by a deafening crowd.
After taking the opening game courtesy of some accurate play and impressive retrievals, the top seed went 2/1 down after Mueller fought his way into the encounter. But with the crowd on his side, Marche came back into the match and got the better of Mueller in some blistering exchanges to complete an 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3 victory in 70 minutes.
"I think, at 2/1 down, I couldn't see myself winning this match," said Marche after capturing his seventh PSA World Tour title.
"But I just thought to myself that I needed to do something even if I didn't win. So I pushed myself and I just wanted to be in front of him and take the 'T' because he is a big guy and I needed to put him at the back. I wanted to do something in the fourth game and somehow, I managed to win and I can't believe it.
"I love playing here and the crowd is just something that you can't see throughout the year so it's great and thanks to the crowd."
Meanwhile, second seed Moverley took the most lucrative women's Open International de Squash de Nantes title ever after defeating Belgium's Nele Gilis in straight games at the $15,000 prize money tournament.
The world No.24 from Hull followed on where she left off after her dominant display against Canada's Hollie Naughton in the last four as she controlled the pace of the final to go a game up.
Gilis dug in and looked on the brink of levelling the scores in the second game as she went 9-7 ahead but it was to be Moverley's day as the 30-year-old took four points in a row to double her advantage before closing out the third to take it 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 after 35 minutes.
"It feels amazing," said Moverley
"It's the first tournament of the season and it's amazing to get off to a great start and win the event. When you're looking at the tournaments and planning your season, it was one of my targets to win this event so to achieve one out of one so far feels really good.
"I've been delighted with how I've played all week. It's been a tough week - everyone in the draw are great players and it was fairly open so I just had to give it my best."