All eight seeded players fought through to the quarter-final stage of the IG Open de Paris, PSA M25 tournament – with six of the eight matches going all the way to five games on a stunning opening day of action.
World No.38 Lucas Serme is the only Frenchman to reach the last eight after he saw off compatriot and wildcard Baptiste Masotti. The number seven seed dropped the opening game but recovered to take the next two without reply. After Serme surged into a 5-0 lead in the third, Masotti was forced off court with an injury and was unable to recover, ensuring that Serme will move on to the next round.
His opponent will be title favourite Chris Simpson who overcame fellow Englishman Joe Lee in a nail-biting spectacle. The man from Guernsey fell to a 2-1 deficit but turned things around to prevail after 87 minutes of high-quality squash and set up a fixture with a player he beat just last week in the European Team Championship final.
“Joe has had a bad season so far, but I knew he could play well and I was prepared for that, but maybe not to the standard he was at today, he played brilliantly,” said Simpson.
“He was beating me in all departments, including accuracy, which is usually one of my strengths. I had a five setter against [Borja] Golan last night in the PSL [Premier Squash League] and I only arrived this afternoon in Paris so I was obviously a bit tired, but somehow I managed to win this one. So I’m up against Lucas again tomorrow, but I expect the match to be very different to Saturday’s in the ETC [European Team Championship] finals.
“Playing a team event is another kind of pressure, and the court is very different as well.”
Second seed Nicolas Mueller was also pushed to the limit against Geoffrey Demont and went 2-0 down after a fast start from the Frenchman caught Mueller off guard. He steadied the ship with victory in the third game, and that win gave him the impetus to move on and complete the comeback, ensuring he will face Scotland’s Greg Lobban for a place in the last four.
Elsewhere, England’s Adrian Waller overturned a one-game deficit against compatriot Tom Ford and he will do battle with Declan James in the next round after he achieved a come-from-behind victory over India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar.
New Zealand’s Paul Coll and Scotland’s Alan Clyne have set up a mouth-watering clash in the other quarter-final, after respective wins over Charles Sharpes and Todd Harrity saw them progress to the last eight.
Results – First Round: IG Open de Paris 2016
 Chris Simpson (ENG) bt Joe Lee (ENG) 3-2: 11-8, 7-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-9 (87m)
 Lucas Serme (FRA) bt [WC] Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-1: 5-11, 11-8, 11-2, 5-0 ret. (60m)
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt Charles Sharpes (ENG) 3-2: 6-11, 11-6, 6-11, 12-10, 11-5 (85m)
 Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 3-1: 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6 (51m)
 Adrian Waller (ENG) bt [Q] Tom Ford (ENG) 3-1: 9-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-7 (57m)
 Declan James (ENG) bt [Q] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-2: 9-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-3 (80m)
 Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [Q] Richie Fallows (ENG) 3-1: 11-8, 10-12, 11-6, 14-12 (70m)
 Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt [Q] Geoffrey Demont (FRA) 3-2: 9-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-1, 11-6 (55m)
Draw – Quarter-Final
 Chris Simpson (ENG) v  Lucas Serme (FRA)
 Paul Coll (NZL) v  Alan Clyne (SCO)
 Adrian Waller (ENG) v  Declan James (ENG)
 Greg Lobban (SCO) v  Nicolas Mueller (SUI)