French No.1 Camille Serme will headline the Open de France - Nantes 2019 when the PSA World Tour Silver tournament takes place in September at the picturesque Chateau des ducs de Bretagne.
The Open de France – formally known as the Open International de Squash de Nantes – has this year upgraded to a PSA World Tour event after featuring on the PSA Challenger Tour in 2018 and will use a best-of-three games format up to and including the quarter-finals, before reverting to the traditional best of five format for the semi-finals and beyond.
The increase in prize money and prestige means Nantes will play host to a top-class draw featuring five of the world’s top 10 players across the men’s and women’s events.
Serme, the highest ranked female French player of all time, will be the star attraction as she competes for the lion’s share of the $73,500 prize purse, and the 30-year-old from Créteil will feature alongside high-profile players such as World No.7 Sarah-Jane Perry, World No.8 Amanda Sobhy and World No.11 Alison Waters.
Defending champion Nele Gilis and last year’s runner-up Emily Whitlock also return, while French trio Coline Aumard, Melissa Alves and Enora Villard join Serme in the draw.
The men’s draw is headed up by Germany’s World No.5 Simon Rösner, New Zealand’s World No.6 Paul Coll and Welsh World No.13 Joel Makin.
Gregoire Marche – the Aix en Provence-based World No.16 who has won this tournament in three of the past four years – is the highest ranked French player in the men’s draw, while former World No.6 Mathieu Castagnet, Baptiste Masotti and Benjamin Aubert will also carry home hopes on their shoulders.
Last year’s men’s champion Declan James is seeded seventh for the tournament, ahead of fellow Englishman and former World No.1 James Willstrop, who he beat at the Théâtre Graslin last September to lift his biggest PSA title to date.
The Open de France runs from September 9-14 and features an equal prize fund of $147,000 split equally between the men’s and women’s events. Round one matches will be played at La Maison du Squash, while round two matches will be split between that venue and the Chateau des ducs de Bretagne. The Chateau des ducs de Bretagne will host all matches from the quarter-finals onwards.
All of the action from the Chateau des ducs de Bretagne will be shown live on Eurosport Player.