2019 Day ONE : Good opening day for France in Nantes…
Benjamin Aubert and Enora Villard, wildcard, plus World No.56 Enora Villard, Benjamin Aubert, Coline Aumard and Mathieu Castagnet made France proud today at the Maison du Squash during round ONE of the Open de France – Nantes 2019 presented by Tailor Capital.
Enora kicked the PSA Silver event off with a surprise victory over Belgian World No.27 Tinne Gilis in straight games, in the best-of-three format being trialled in Nantes. The Frenchwoman, who had beaten Tinne last week during the European Individuals, ranked 29 places below her first round opponent in Nantes, took an early lead in the first game, one that she would not relinquish.
She did the same in the second, moving out to a 6-2 lead at one point. Although Gilis looked like fighting back at times, Villard battled through to take her place in the second round, beating the Belgian for the first time in her fledgling career.
Meanwhile, World No.90 “Benji” Aubert produced the victory of the afternoon as he downed Germany’s World No.27 Raphael Kandra in a mammoth three-game battle.
The pair duked it out for 59 minutes at La Maison du Squash, with all three games reaching a conclusion in tie-breaks, as the Frenchman came back from a game down to win. Kandra took the first 12-10, but Aubert fought back, winning the second 13-11 to force a decider. Both men had match balls, but it was the Frenchman that came out on top.
Mathieu Castagnet and Coline Aumard also made it through to the second round of the Open de France – Nantes presented by Tailor Capital, with the pair both having to survive scares in their first round clashes.
Aumard faced off against compatriot Melissa Alves for a place in the last 16, and it was all going well after she won the first game. However, Alves came back into the match, reeling off a string of points to win the second. The World No.33 went on to secure victory after battling back in the third game, booking her place in the second round, and setting up a clash with the tournament’s No.1 seed, Camille Serme.
Meanwhile, compatriot Mathieu Castagnet lost the first game of his clash against India’s Ramit Tandon on a tie-break, only for the Frenchman to fight back, eventually taking the honours after 47 minutes. He goes on to face reigning champion Declan James on the wonderful glass court at the Chateau des ducs de Bretagne on Tuesday evening.