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Swedish Open 2017


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Swedish Open 2017
31 Jan - 5 Feb
Linköping, Sweden, $70k
Round One

[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
11-8, 11-4, 11-9 (32m)
Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)

Karim Abdel Gawad
11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 12-14, 11-6 (99m)
Cameron Pilley
Karim Abdel Gawad
10-12, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 (54m)
Alan Clyne
Karim Abdel Gawad
7-11, 11-3, 11-0, 11-8 (59m)
Gregory Gaultier

[6] Cameron Pilley (AUS)
11-6, 11-6, 11-8 (57m)
[Q] Joel Makin (WAL)

[7] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-3 (59m)
Alan Clyne (SCO)

Alan Clyne
Mathieu Castagnet

[3] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 (52m)
[WC] Rasmus Hult (SWE)

[4] Simon Rösner (GER)
11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5 (56m)
[Q] Adrian Waller (ENG)

Simon Rösner
Daryl Selby
Simon Rösner
11-9, 13-11, 11-8 (58m)

Gregory Gaultier

[8] Daryl Selby (ENG)
13-11, 5-11, 11-2, 11-8 (70m)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)

[5] Tarek Momen (EGY)
11-9, 11-5, 11-9 (39m)
[Q] Declan James (ENG)

Tarek Momen
3-11, 7-11, 11-5, 13-11, 11-2 (78m)
Gregory Gaultier

[Q] Joe Lee (ENG)
11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (34m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)


Qualifying finals:
[1] Adrian Waller (ENG) bt [5] Raphael Kandra (GER) 3-2: 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8 (77m)
[6] Joe Lee (ENG) bt [2] Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-2 (51m)
[3] Declan James (ENG) bt Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) 3-2: 11-8, 6-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6 (80m)
[8] Joel Makin (WAL) bt [4] Mohamed Reda (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-8, 13-11, 13-11 (78m)
Main Draw - First Round (To Be Played February 2nd)
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
[Q] Joel Makin (WAL) v [6] Cameron Pilley (AUS)
[7] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v Alan Clyne (SCO)
[WC] Rasmus Hult (SWE) v [3] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[4] Simon Rösner (GER) v [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) v [8] Daryl Selby (ENG)
[5] Tarek Momen (EGY) v [Q] Declan James (ENG)
[Q] Joe Lee (ENG) v [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)

1st qualifying round:

Mohamed Reda (EGY) bt Michael Babra (SWE) 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 (23m)
Joel Makin (WAL) bt Viktor Hogberg (SWE) 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (27m)
Joe Lee (ENG) bt Matias Tuomi (FIN) 15-13, 11-4, 11-4 (43m)
Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) 9-11, 11-2, 12-10, 11-7 (58m)
Declan James (ENG) bt Jens Schoor (GER) 11-6, 11-9, 11-4 (36m)
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) bt Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5 (53m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Jami Äijänen (FIN) 11-6, 11-3, 11-4 (22m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Carl Remle (SWE) 11-4, 11-7, 11-4 (26m)


Gaultier Ends Gawad’s Unbeaten Streak to Capture Swedish Open Crown

French World No.3 Gregory Gaultier lifted the UCS Swedish Open title for the third time in his career after he overturned a one-game deficit to defeat World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad in the final in Linköping - bringing an end to the Egyptian’s 19-match unbeaten run.

Defending champion Gawad, the 25-year-old from Giza, looked to be on course to lift a fourth successive PSA World Tour title to add to his World Championship, Qatar Classic and Tournament of Champions titles - the latter of which saw him beat Gaultier in the final - after he pulled away at the end of game one to take the lead.

However, a stunning response from Gaultier saw the 34-year-old storm back into contention, with a masterful display seeing him ease to victories in games two and three - without dropping a single point in the latter - before he came out on top of an absorbing battle in the fourth and final game to lift his 35th career PSA World Tour title courtesy of a 7-11, 11-3, 11-0, 11-8 victory.

"I pushed as hard as possible to grab the win, he's obviously been winning in the last three tournaments and he's the World Champion, so all credit to him, he's an amazing player," said Gaultier.

"He's chasing the World No.1 spot and I wish him good luck to get it. I know this feeling and he is a super talented player. I'm sure he is going to get it.

"I'm glad I managed to play well here and I'm really happy to come here and support the event. I first came here when I was 18-years-old and now I'm 34. I came to the first edition, so I'm really faithful to the tournament and I will keep being faithful as the tournament keeps going."

Gawad, meanwhile, took time out to praise the new champion, saying: "I had a tough week here, but all credit to Greg, he played some amazing squash today. He was the better player throughout the match, so all credit to him

"Since I won the Swedish Open last year, I have had a great season, and to reach the final here again is a great feeling.

"I've had a very tough season and a very tough last six or seven tournaments. This tournament I played well and reached the final. Chicago [the Windy City Open] is very close from now, so hopefully I will be able to reach another final and play as well as I have been playing for the last few tournaments."

Gaultier’s triumph sees him move past England’s three-time World Champion Nick Matthew to become the sole occupier of third place on the list of the most successful active players on the PSA World Tour – just three titles behind World No.5 Ramy Ashour, who is in second place.

New Zealand’s World No.191 Mike Corren is currently the most successful active player on the PSA World Tour with 51 Tour titles to his name.

Gawad and Gaultier Set Up Swedish Open Final Showdown

Defending champion Karim Abdel Gawad and two-time winner Gregory Gaultier will lock horns in the final of the 2017 UCS Swedish Open after they both claimed wins on semi-finals day at the PSA M70 tournament held in Linköping.

Gawad - who triumphed over fellow Egyptian Tarek Momen in last year’s final - went a game down to Scotland’s World No.34 Alan Clyne in his last four clash after Clyne displayed some inch-perfect width and consistent hitting.

But Gawad adapted his tactics to target Clyne’s forehand side, and the change in approach paid dividends as he crashed a series of drives into the back right corner, before going in for the kill at the front. The World No.2 took the next three games without reply to seal a 10-12, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 and keep his hopes of lifting a fourth straight PSA World Tour title alive.

"I didn’t want to play a very long match today, I had a very tough one yesterday, so I wanted to keep as much energy for tomorrow’s match in the final," said Gawad.

"I played Greg twice last month, once in an exhibition and once in ToC. Now we’re playing in the Swedish Open for a third time, and it’s tough to play him three times in 30 days.

"But I enjoyed playing him, I’ve had a lot of experience playing him before and now I’m competing with him. I got the last win, so hopefully tomorrow I can get another one."

Gaultier - a winner here in 2012 and 2013 - earned his place in a fourth career Swedish Open final after he came out on top in an entertaining clash with German No.1 Simon Rösner.

It was a high-quality match from the off as both players exchanged points with gusto, with some delicate touches and physically demanding rallies captivating spectators at the
Linköping Sporthall.

And it was Gaultier who held his nerve towards the end of all three games to edge the tall World No.10 by an 11-9, 13-11, 11-8 margin.

“I’m happy to be in another final, especially here," the Frenchman said.

"I’ve been here for so many years, since the first edition 16 years ago. I was a kid back then, 18-years-old, so I always try and play it. I’ve missed it once or twice because of injuries, but otherwise I always try to come here.

"For us, it’s not too far away and it’s good to motivate people from Europe to organise tournaments. That’s why it’s important for me to come here. People are always warm here, you feel really welcome and they do everything to make you feel comfortable."

Gawad and Gaultier last met in January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions final, where an absorbing contest ended in a 3-1 win to Gawad in New York’s iconic Grand Central Terminal.

Gawad and Gaultier Secure Semi-Final Berths as Swedish Open Rocked By Withdrawals

The quarter-final stage of the 2017 UCS Swedish Open saw just two of the four scheduled matches go ahead as planned, with title holder Karim Abdel Gawad and World No.3 Gregory Gaultier beating Australia’s Cameron Pilley and Egypt’s Tarek Momen, respectively, in Linköping.

Injuries to both England’s Daryl Selby and Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet earlier on in the day saw them pull out of their respective last eight fixtures with Germany’s Simon Rösner and Scotland’s Alan Clyne - both of whom received walkovers to reach the last four - but the two remaining matches produced a veritable feast of top-class squash action for an enraptured set of spectators.

Gawad and Pilley contested a 99-minute thriller that saw World Champion Gawad - who is aiming for a fourth straight PSA World Tour title - go 2-1 up and match ball up in the fourth game, before the World No.2 was forced off court after a sustaining a head injury during a seemingly innocuous clash with Pilley at the front of the court.

After Gawad returned, Pilley managed to save two further match balls to level the scores, before Gawad finally managed to shake off his tenacious opponent to wrap up an 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 12-14, 11-6 victory, reaching the last four for the second successive year where he will take on Clyne.

"I went to the ball really quickly, he was going away from the ball really quickly, so it was normal interference," said Gawad about his injury.

"Unfortunately, my head hit his back. I was okay, then I walked back and it was very blurry and I couldn’t see very well. I was a little bit dizzy, so I couldn’t stand on my legs.

"But after five or six minutes I was feeling good, I was walking well and seeing well so I went back on court. Sometimes it happens and all you can do is try to regroup and play a normal game. It doesn’t matter if you’re 2-1 up and match ball up. It’s just one game, so in the fifth game you go on and you play like it’s the first game."

Gaultier, meanwhile, battled back from two games down to defeat Egyptian opposition for the second tournament in a row.

The ‘French General’, who fell to the same deficit against Fares Dessouky at last month’s Tournament of Champions before coming back to win, was outfought and outclassed in the early stages as an attacking masterclass from Momen saw the Egyptian surge into a two-game lead.

However, Gaultier recovered from his sluggish start to force Momen in an all-out battle for supremacy, with the 34-year-old’s abundance of experience shining through as he claimed a hard-fought 3-11, 7-11, 11-5, 13-11, 11-2 victory to set up a semi-final meeting with Rösner.

"I wasn’t there today, I was really struggling and I couldn’t see the ball," said Gaultier.

"I was playing the wrong shots, everything was loose. I had to be patient and play the ball into the two back corners until something happened. That paid off at the end.

"In the fifth game I was playing point by point, I wasn’t thinking too far ahead, I was just focusing on each shot. As long as your head is still there, you keep fighting to the last point."
Selby Pulls Out of Swedish Open

England’s World No.14 Daryl Selby has withdrawn from his 2017 UCS Swedish Open quarter-final clash with German No.1 Simon Rösner due to an ankle injury.

The pair were due to contest the first of the four quarter-final fixtures at the PSA M70 tournament held in Linköping, but Selby, who turned his ankle during his first round match with Egypt’s Omar Abdel Meguid in round one, has been forced into an early exit.

"I’m gutted to have to withdraw before my quarter-final match with Simon Rösner in the Swedish Open," said Selby.

"Sorry to all spectators and organisers."

As a result, Rösner progresses to the semi-finals, where he will take on either World No.3 Gregory Gaultier or World No.8 Tarek Momen for a place in the final.

Draw – Quarter-Finals: 2017 UCS Swedish Open
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [6] Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Alan Clyne (SCO) v [3] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[4] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [8] Daryl Selby (ENG) - walkover
[5] Tarek Momen (EGY) v [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Clyne Scalps Rodriguez on Day One of Swedish Open

All but one of the top eight seeds on the opening day of action at the 2017 UCS Swedish Open made it to the quarter-finals unscathed, with former World No.4 Miguel Angel Rodriguez being the only seed to miss out after he fell to Scotland’s Alan Clyne in Linköping.

Clyne, the World No.34, was without a win in his last three PSA World Tour events, but recovered from a game down to win in four, ending a six-match losing streak against World No.13 Rodriguez to move into the last eight of the Swedish Open for the first time.

"Miguel was playing well at the start and he wasn’t letting me off with any loose balls," said Clyne.

"Gradually, we had some really tough rallies in the second. That was a really important game and I was glad I managed to sneak that. After that, I came out pretty well and I was happy with the way I managed to finish it off against a player like Miguel.

"We’ve had some close matches before. I watched the last match we played, which was in Colombia and was 3-2, and I felt like I had a really good chance to win that. I felt like I knew how to win, I just had to execute it and thankfully I did that."

Defending champion Karim Abdel Gawad got his 2017 campaign off to a winning start after he swept past Malaysia’s Nafiizwan Adnan in straight games.

Gawad, the current World Champion who is looking for a fourth successive PSA World Tour title, came up against a resilient Adnan in the opening game as both players traded points on the penultimate match of the evening, with Gawad eventually taking it for the loss of eight points.

It was all one-way traffic in the second as Gawad dropped just four points en route to doubling his lead. Adnan battled back in the third, with some consistent play seeing him wrack up a series of points against the ‘Baby Faced Assassin’, but Gawad held him off to take it 11-9 and move into the last eight, where he will face Australian No.1 Cameron Pilley.

"I enjoy playing here so much, it’s one of the best courts and best atmospheres," said World No.2 Gawad said.

"It’s amazing to play here. I enjoy my squash so much on this court and in front of this crowd.

"I watched Nafiizwan play over the past few tournaments, he has beaten some very tough players and he is one of the top players also, so he’s very tough to play and I am glad to get through to the quarters with a 3-0 win."

Pilley secured safe passage through to the quarter-finals thanks to a 3-0 win over Welsh qualifier Joel Makin.

The tall World No.17 dominated the centre of the court throughout and was clinical as he capitalised on any loose shots from Makin to build on early leads in games one and two to go 2-0 up. Makin started the better of the two in the third game and he dug in and began to build up a series of points, only to see Pilley shut up shop and see out the win by an 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 margin.

"It was tough out there, Joel picks up a lot of balls that you feel would win the rally two or three times," Pilley said.

"I had to play some quality straight hitting to keep him from using his speed and using the angles, and I was able to do that for most of the match. He got stuck in there in the third, started to play some really good squash, so I had to knuckle down and try to close it out in three."

World No.3 Gregory Gaultier put any worries about his fitness to bed as he opened up his Swedish Open campaign with a comprehensive 3-0 win over qualifier Joe Lee setting up a quarter-final clash with Egypt’s Tarek Momen.

Gaultier struggled with a glute injury in the latter stages of last month’s Tournament of Champions, but was exquisite as he dismantled Lee, playing a free-flowing style that saw him at his very best as he countered and controlled the court, picking out winner after winner with effortless ease.

“Today I was moving well, I didn’t come here last year and I was gutted because I had an injury that kept me away for a long time,” said the Frenchman who has won this title twice.

“I started mentally fresh again this year. I’m very motivated here, I played well in New York and I’m in a good mood, so I am hoping to play well.”

Gaultier’s compatriot, Mathieu Castagnet, made his return from a three-month injury lay-off with a 3-1 win over tournament wildcard Rasmus Hult, and he will meet Clyne in the last eight.

England’s Daryl Selby and German No.1 Simon Rösner were the other winners on day one after they beat Omar Abdel Meguid and Adrian Waller, respectively, and they will face off for a place in the last four.
British Quartet Move Into Swedish Open Main Draw as Qualification Ends

Qualification at the 2017 UCS Swedish Open came to a close in Linköping this evening with British squash players enjoying success in all four encounters as English trio Joe Lee, Declan James and Adrian Waller were joined by Welshman Joel Makin in the main draw of the PSA M70 tournament.

Lee, the number six qualifying seed, produced an impressive performance to get past French number two seed Lucas Serme in straight games, while James was forced to come from behind to win a testing five-game, 80-minute encounter with Spaniard Iker Pajares Bernabeu.

James will hope to carry that momentum into a first round encounter with Tarek Momen, runner-up here twelve months ago, while Lee earns a first round match up with 2015 World Champion Gregory Gaultier.

Waller also had to battle his way through a five-game final qualification match, with German Raphael Kandra being the victim, while Makin, the number eight seed, edged his way past Egyptian Mohamed Reda in a tense four-game encounter, recovering from dropping the first to secure the victory courtesy of 13-11 wins in the third and fourth games.

Makin will face Cameron Pilley in the first round, with Waller going up against Simon Rösner.