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French Nationals: Paquemar Causes Upset

The opening day of the French Nationals saw 19-year-old Manu Paquemar become the only unseeded player to make it through round one unscathed after he upset No.8 seed Johan Bouquet in a thrilling five-game battle at Bordeaux’s Squash Bad 33 club.

Paquemar completed a 16-14 7-11 8-11 11-7 11-9 victory over his compatriot to earn his place in the quarter-finals of the tournament, where he will take on defending champion Lucas Serme.

Serme got the better of Fabrice Mattei in a comfortable 3-0 victory, while men’s top seed Gregoire Marche overcame Baptise Bouin by the same scoreline, including an 11-0 triumph in the opening game of their fixture.

Marche’s reward is a last eight clash with the talented Victor Crouin. Crouin, the World No.41, is a dark horse for the title and earned his spot in the quarter-finals courtesy of a 3-0 win over Laouenan Loaec.

No.2 seed Mathieu Castagnet got the better of Maceo Levy in straight games to set up a match with Toufik Mekhalfi, while No.3 seed Baptiste Masotti and No.6 seed Edwin Clain will meet in the other last eight fixture following wins over Brice Nicolas and Rohan Mandil, respectively.

Camille Serme takes on Lilou Brevar
Camille Serme takes on Lilou Brevar (picture credit: Nicolas Barbeau)

In the women’s event, it was plain sailing for the seeds who, headed up by World No.3 Camille Serme, won all eight matches.

Serme has won 11 French Nationals titles – a record she shares with Isabelle Stoehr and Corinne Castets – and she is the heavy favourite to take the crown once more in Bordeaux

Serme wasted no time in seeing off Lilou Brevard in straight games and will take on No.6 seed Elise Romba next. Last year’s runner-up Melissa Alves was also in action as she beat Rose Lucas Marcuzzo to set up a last eight meeting with Marie Stephan.

The other winners in round one of the women’s event were Enora Villard, Ambre Allinckx, Lea Barbeau and Ninon Lemarchand.

The French Squash Federation are streaming the Nationals on their YouTube channel – tune in here from 14:00 GMT.

Results – Round One: Men’s 2021 French Nationals

[1] Gregoire Marche bt Baptiste Bouin 3-0: 11-0 11-4 11-7

[5] Victor Crouin bt Laouenan Loaec 3-0: 11-3 11-0 11-2

[4] Lucas Serme bt Fabrice Mattei 3-0: 11-2 11-2 11-3

Manuel Paquemar bt [8] Johan Bouquet 3-2: 16-14 7-11 8-11 11-7 11-9

[6] Edwin Clain bt Paul Gonzalez 3-0: 11-6 11-9 11-2

[3] Baptiste Masotti bt Brice Nicolas 3-0: 11-9 11-2 11-6

[7] Toufik Mekhalfi bt Rohan Mandil 3-1: 10-12, 11-1, 11-2, 11-6

[2] Mathieu Castagnet bt Maceo Levy 3-0: 11-5 11-4 11-6

Draw – Quarter-Finals

[1] Gregoire Marche v [8] Victor Crouin

[4] Lucas Serme v Manuel Paquemar

[6] Edwin Claim v [3] Baptiste Masotti

[7] Toufik Mekhalfi v [2] Mathieu Castagnet

Results – Round One: Women’s 2021 French Nationals

[1] Camille Serme bt Lilou Brevar 3-0: 11-3 11-8 11-1

[6] Elise Romba bt Ana Munos 3-0: 11-8 11-7 11-4

[4] Ambre Allinckx bt Ines Guyot 3-0: 11-3 11-3 11-2

[7] Lea Barbeau bt Mahe Asensi 3-0: 11-6 11-6 11-4

[8] Ninon Lemarchand bt Océane Michelot 3-0: 11-3 11-2 11-4

[3] Enora Villard bt Melissa Mebarek 3-0: 11-2 11-1 11-2

[5] Marie Stephan bt Lauriane Maingot 3-0: 11-0 11-4 11-0

[2] Melissa Alves bt Rose Lucas Marcuzzo 3-0: 1-6 11-5 11-2

Draw – Quarter-Finals

[1] Camille Serme v [8] Elise Romba

[4] Ambre Allinckx v Lea Barbeau

[6] Ninon Lemarchand v [3] Enora Villard

[7] Marie Stephan v [2] Melissa Alves

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