Victor Crouin & Nele Gilis crowned 2023 ESF European Champions

August 25 2023

Victor Crouin and Nele Gilis were crowned European Champions following respective wins over Auguste Dussourd and Enora Villard at the 2023 ESF European Individual Closed Squash Championships staged at the Hasta La Vista Club in Poland.

Top seed Victor Crouin, runner-up at last year’s championships, produced a typically determined performance to overcome compatriot Auguste Dussourd 11-3 12-10 9-11 11-8. After claiming the first game with relative ease, the French No.1 was forced to work hard for his victory as Dussourd fought valiantly to extend the match into a fourth game before Crouin claimed a 68 minute victory to claim his maiden European individual title.

The women's final in contrast saw Nele Gilis of Belgium cruise to 33-minute 11-1 11-7 11-3 victory over Enora Villard of France to win his second European induvial title after winning in 2019 in Bucharest.

The European Squash Federation (ESF) have announced that the 2024 ESF European Individual Closed Squash Championships will be held in the Spanish city of Cuenca near Madrid.

2023 ESF European Individual Closed Squash Championships
Hasta La Vista Club, Wroclaw, Poland
Men’s Final:
[1] Victor Crouin (FRA) bt [3/4] Auguste Dussourd (FRA) 11-3 12-10 9-11 11-8 (68m)
Women’s Final:
[1] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt [2] Enora Villard (FRA) 11-1 11-7 11-3 (33m)

Victor Crouin, Auguste Dussourd, Nele Gilis and Enora Villard all claimed semi-final victories on day three of the 2023 ESF European Individual Closed Squash Championships staged at the Hasta La Vista Club in Wroclaw, Poland.

In a gripping showdown for the women's championship medals, Enora Villard clashed with Emilia Soini. The court was ablaze with emotions as both players fought valiantly, engaging in both rallies and debates with the referee. Ultimately, second-seeded Enora Villard clinched a hard-earned victory in 62 intense minutes, rallying from behind to secure a 3-11 11-7 9-11 12-10 11-7 triumph.

Nele Gilis, the women's top seed and dominant force in the women's draw, took centre stage against Marie Stephan. The contest witnessed closely contested opening games, but Nele Gilis, displaying her prowess, surged ahead to the final with an 11-9 11-9 11-3 triumph in just 35 minutes.

The first men's semi-finl saw title holder Nicolas Mueller from Switzerland squared off against France's Auguste Dussourd. After a gripping start that saw Dussourd claim the initial game 12-10, Mueller countered with an 11-9 comeback in the second. The third game, an intense battle, saw Auguste Dussourd seize a tight 12-10 victory, propelling him to an eventual 11-5 triumph in the fourth, thus securing his spot in the final.

Men's top seed Victor Crouin of France confronted Switzerland's Dimitri Steinmann in the second men's semi-final. Despite Crouin's three-game victory, the clash endured for a strenuous 50 minutes, embodying sheer determination. The forthcoming men's final promises an all-French spectacle, adding an extra layer of anticipation to this enthralling championship narrative.

2023 ESF European Individual Closed Squash Championships
Hasta La Vista Club, Wroclaw, Poland
Men’s Semi-Finals:
[1] Victor Crouin (FRA) bt [3/4] Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) 11-7, 11-7, 13-11 (50m)
[3/4] Auguste Dussourd (FRA) bt [2] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 12-10, 9-11, 12-10, 11-5 (54m)

Women’s Semi-Finals:
[1] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt [3/4] Marie Stephan (FRA) 11-9, 11-9, 11-3 (35m)
[2] Enora Villard (FRA) bt [3/4] Emilia Soini (FIN)  3-11, 11-7, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7 (62m)

Victor Crouin, Dimitri Steinmann, Auguste Dussourd, Nicolas Mueller, Nele Gilis, Marie Stephan, Emilia Soini and Enora Villard all claimed quarter-final victories on day two of the 2023 ESF European Individual Closed Squash Championships staged at the Hasta La Vista Club in Wroclaw, Poland.

Kicking off the quarter-finals was a showdown between France's Enora Villard and Austria's Jacqueline Peychar. Though Villard grappled in the opening games, she eventually surged to a three-game triumph.

The day's second women's encounter unfolded dramatically, a gripping five-set clash that saw Emilia Soini triumph over Moa Bönnemark. A fiery duel ensued between France's Marie Stephan and Germany's Saskia Beinhard, ultimately culminating in Stephan's slender 11/9 victory in the fifth game, delighting the fervent crowd. Commanding the court, women's top seed Nele Gilis orchestrated an effortless victory over Lauren Baltayan, solidifying her advance.

In the men's draw, reigning champion Nicolas Mueller overcame Czech contender Daniel Mekbib whilst Frenchman Auguste Dussord validated his higher seed status, prevailing over former champion Raphael Kanda in a four-game tussle.

A seesaw struggle unfolded as Spaniard Edmon Lopez seized the opening game, only to have Swiss contender Dimitri Steinmann assert control, securing his spot in the semi-finalss after a four-game engagement.

The day's final men's quarter-final clash showcased an all-French affair, pitting Victor Crouin against Edwin Clain. Unyielding top seed Victor Crouin displayed his dominance, marching into the semi-finals without relinquishing a single game.

2023 ESF European Individual Closed Squash Championships
Hasta La Vista Club, Wroclaw, Poland
Men’s Quarter-Finals:
[1] Victor Crouin (FRA) bt [9/16] Edwin Clain (FRA) 11-7, 11-3, 11-7 (32m
[3/4] Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) bt [9/16] Edmon Lopez (ESP) 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7 (55m)
[3/4] Auguste Dussourd (FRA) bt [5/8] Rpahael Kandra (GER) 11-4, 11-6, 5-11, 12-10 (45m)
[2] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt [9/16] Daniel Mekbib (CZE) 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 (24m)

Women’s Quarter-Finals:
[1] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt [5/8] Lauren Baltayan (FRA) 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 (20m)
[3/4] Marie Stephan (FRA) bt [5/8] Saskia Beinhard (GER) 7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 (47m)
[3/4] Emilia Soini (FIN) bt Moa Bonnemark (SWE) 11-3, 10-12, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7 (39m)
[2] Enora Villard (FRA) bt [5/8] Jacqueline Peychar (AUT) 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 (32m)

The courts at Hasta La Vista Club in Wroclaw, Poland bore witness to a dynamic double round of matches, to determine the quarter-finalists for the 2023 ESF European Individual Closed Squash Championships.

In the women's draw, a seismic upset emerged as young Moa Bönnemark of Sweden orchestrated a stunning victory over 5/8 seed Nadia Pfister from Switzerland. The 3/4 seed, Marie Stephan of France, engaged in an arduous battle to conquer Norway's Madeleine Hylland. Amid a tapestry of talent, local sensation Karina Tyma displayed commendable prowess but succumbed in a four-game clash against emerging French talent Lauren Baltayan. Across the board, the remaining seeds navigated their matches unscathed, triumphing without relinquishing a game.

In the men's competition, the top four seeds all sailed through the initial rounds with relative ease. Nevertheless, underdog narratives emerged. Spain's Edmon Lopez defied expectations by toppling higher-seeded Viktor Byrtus of the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, Daniel Mekbib secured a coveted quarter-finals spot for the Czech Rebublic contingent by outdueling Spanish contender Bernat Jaume. As the day's curtain fell, French contender Edwin Clain delivered a striking upset, prevailing over higher-seeded Czech player Martin Svec. Edwin Clain's triumph propels him into a quarter-final clash against none other than the top seed and compatriot, Victor Crouin, igniting anticipation for an exciting showdown.

2023 ESF European Individual Closed Squash Championships
Hasta La Vista Club, Wroclaw, Poland
Men's 2nd Round:

[1] Victor Crouin (FRA) bt [9/16] Pascal Gomez (ESP) 11-3, 11-3, 11-2
[9/16] Edwin Clain (FRA) bt [5/8] Martin Svec (CZE) 8-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-7
[9/16] Edmon Lopez (ESP) bt [5/8] Viktor Byrtus (CZE) 11-3, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6
[3/4] Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) bt [9/16] David Maier (LIE) 11-2, 11-4, 11-5
[3/4] Auguste Dussourd (FRA) bt Benedek Takacs (HUN) 11-7, 11-9, 11-3
[5/8] Raphael Kandra (GER) bt [9/16] Ivan Perez (ESP) 9-11, 11-1, 11-7, 11-3
[9/16] Daniel Mekbib (CZE) bt [5/8] Bernat Jaume (ESP) 11-9, 11-5, 11-7
[2] Nicolas Müller (SUI) bt [9/16] Jakub Solnicky (CZE) 11-5, 5-11, 11-7, 11-2

2023 ESF European Individual Closed Squash Championships
Hasta La Vista Club, Wroclaw, Poland
1st Men's Round:
[1] Victor Crouin (FRA) bye
[9/16] Pascal Gomez (ESP) bt Leon Krysiak (POL) 11-4, 11-9, 11-9
[9/16] Edwin Clain (FRA) bt Žan Bombek (SLO) 11-5, 11-2, 11-3
[5/8] Martin Svec (CZE) bt Marcin Sikorski (POL) 11-6, 11-6, 11-4
[5/8] Viktor Byrtus (CZE) bt Dumitru Goian (ROM) 11-7, 4-11, 11-5, 11-9
[9/16] Edmon Lopez (ESP) bt Janis Plume (LAT) 11-3, 11-3, 11-3
[9/16] David Maier (LIE) bt Ruslan Sorochynskyi (UKR) 12-10, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7
[3/4] Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) bt Kajetan Lipski (POL) 11-0, 11-3, 11-3
[3/4] Auguste Dussourd (FRA) bye
Benedek Takacs (HUN) bt [9/16] Jakub Pytlowany (POL) 11-6, 11-6, 4-11, 11-9
[9/16] Ivan Perez (ESP) bt Aivars Lucijanovs (LAT) 11-3, 11-9, 11-5
[5/8] Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Tomasz Matejski (POL) 11-3, 11-4, 11-4
[5/8] Bernat Jaume (ESP) bt Nikita Panov (UKR) 11-7, 11-3, 11-5
[9/16] Daniel Mekbib (CZE) bt Radu Pena (ROM) 11-3, 11-6, 11-3
[9/16] Jakub Solnicky (CZE) bt Mikolaj Korsak (POL) 11-5, 11-9, 11-9
[2] Nicolas Müller (SUI) bye