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Palmer & Huisman Secure Swedish Open Titles

Swedish Open Squash Championships,

Linköping, Sweden


Men's final:

[1] David Palmer (AUS) bt [4] Alex Gough (WAL)  11-10 (2-0), 11-4, 11-7

Men's semi-finals:

[1] David Palmer (AUS) bt [3] Olli Tuominen (FIN) 9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 (47m)

[4] Alex Gough (WAL) bt [2] Karim Darwish (EGY) 11-8, 5-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9 (75m)

Men's quarter-finals:

[1] David Palmer (AUS) bt [7] Alister Walker (ENG) 11-6, 4-11, 10-11 (1-3), 11-3, 11-3

[3] Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt [6] Liam Kenny (IRL) 11-8, 11-4, 11-7

[4] Alex Gough (WAL) bt [5] Davide Bianchetti (ITA) 11-6, 11-9, 11-9

[2] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt [8] Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) 11-5, 11-2, 11-8


Men's 1st round:

[1] David Palmer (AUS) bt [Q] Amr Swelim (EGY) 11-8, 11-6, 11-7

[7] Alister Walker (ENG) bt [Q] Jonathan Harford (ENG) 11-8, 11-10 (2-0), 11-10 (2-0)

[3] Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt Jean-Michel Arcucci (FRA) 11-5, 11-4, 11-3

[6] Liam Kenny (IRL) bt Stacey Ross (ENG) 11-9, 11-9, 11-6

[5] Davide Bianchetti (ITA) bt [Q] Chris Ryder (ENG) 11-8, 11-6, 11-9

[4] Alex Gough (WAL) bt Ritwik Bhattacharya (IND) 11-10 (3-1), 11-4, 11-8

[8] Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) bt Christian Drakenberg (SWE) 11-7, 11-9, 11-6

[2] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt [Q] Alex Stait (ENG) 11-4, 11-6, 11-9


Women's final:

[3] Margriet Huisman (NED) bt [1] Line Hansen (DEN)  5-9, 9-2, 9-7, 9-3


Women's semi-finals:

[3] Margriet Huisman (NED) bt [2] Georgina Stoker (ENG) 9-0, 3-9, 9-7, 9-3

[1] Line Hansen (DEN) bt [4] Kirsty McPhee (ENG) 4-9, 9-2, 9-6, 9-3


[2] Georgina Stoker (ENG) bt [8] Carrie Hastings (ENG) 9-5, 9-1, 9-6

[3] Margriet Huisman (NED) bt [6] Lotte Eriksen (NOR) 9-3, 9-1, 9-1

[4] Kirsty McPhee (ENG) bt [7] Anna-Carin Forstadius (SWE) 9-1, 9-0, 9-5

[1] Line Hansen (DEN) bt [5] Daniela Schumann (GER) 9-0, 9-1, 9-0

Women's 1st round

[2] Georgina Stoker (ENG) bt Selina Sinclair (ENG) 9-1, 9-0, 9-0

Lovisa Forstadius (SWE) bt [8] Carrie Hastings (ENG) 9-0, 9-5, 9-1

[3] Margriet Huisman (NED) bye

[6] Lotte Eriksen (NOR) bt Lauren Selby (ENG) 9-8, 6-9, 9-7, 9-5

[7] Anna-Carin Forstadius (SWE) bye

[8] Carrie Hastings (ENG) bt Lovisa Forstadius (SWE) 9-0, 9-5, 9-1

[4] Kirsty McPhee (ENG) bt Victoria Lust (ENG) 9-0, 10-9, 9-5

[5] Daniela Schumann (GER) bye

[1] Line Hansen (DEN) bt Cajsa-Marie Gulin (SWE) 9-0, 9-1, 9-0


Qualifying finals:

Alex Stait (ENG) bt Jesse Engelbrecht (ZIM) 11-10 (2-0), 4-11, 11-7, 11-4

Amr Swelim (EGY) bt Romain Tenant (FRA) 11-8, 11-6, 11-4

Jonathan Harford (ENG) bt Badr Abdel Aziz (SWE) 11-9, 11-8, 11-9

Chris Ryder (ENG) bt Simon Rosner (GER) 11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8


Palmer & Huisman Secure Swedish Open Titles

Top seed David Palmer beat surprise opponent Alex Gough in the final Case Swedish Open Squash Championships to win the 3-star PSA Tour event title in Linköping, Sweden.


By contrast, third seed Margriet Huisman upset top seed Line Hansen in the women's Zack Swedish Open final to secure her maiden WISPA World Tour title.  


The 75-minute semi-final clash in which Gough upset Egypt's second seed Karim Darwish in five games clearly had its toll in the final for the 36-year-old 'veteran' Welshman.


Gough, the fourth seed, took Palmer to a tie-break in the opening game - but the world champion from New South Wales had the upper hand thereafter as he strode to an 11-10 (2-0), 11-4, 11-7 victory to notch up the 20th PSA Tour title of his career.


The Swedish Open success extends Palmer's lead over Thierry Lincou, the Frenchman who boasts 18 Tour crowns, as the current player on the PSA Tour with the most titles.


Margriet Huisman reached the women's final after overcoming England's No2 seed Georgina Stoker in the semi-finals.   In the final, favourite Line Hansen, from Odense in Denmark, took the first game.


But 23-year-old Huisman, from Arnhem in the Netherlands, then took control of the match to run out a 5-9, 9-2, 9-7, 9-3 winner.


Tournament promoter Fredrik Johnson was delighted with his fourth staging of the event in Linköping since 2002:  "All the players have been very helpful and I'm proud to have been host for the players this last week.  Everyone has done a great job also off court.


"There have also been a number of promotional activities during the tournament for the different sponsors and the players have helped out really well.  Of course it was fantastic this afternoon to listen to both Palmer and Gough in the speeches after the final when they both commented that the Swedish Open 2007 had been one of the best tournaments they have played for a long time.


"Line Hansen, runner-up in the ladies went even further when she said that the players had been treated as princesses," added Johnson, who confirmed that the 2008 Case Swedish Open will also take place in Linköping.


The semi-finals and finals were covered live on a Swedish TV channel, and Swedish national TV will broadcast a one-hour feature on the finals next week.


Darwish Downed By Veteran Gough

Just two months after celebrating his 36th birthday, Alex Gough showed that he still has the same fighting spirit as when he joined the PSA Tour 14 years ago by upsetting second seed Karim Darwish in the semi-finals of the Case Swedish Open Squash Championships in Linköping, Sweden.


The Welshman will now face top seed David Palmer after the Australian beat local hero Olli Tuominen, from Finland, in the other semi-final of the 3-star PSA Tour event.


Margriet Huisman denied British interest in the other final when she upset England's No2 seed Georgina Stoker to set up a decider with top seed Line Hansen in the women's Zack Swedish Open.


Gough, a former world No5 now ranked outside the top 20, twice stemmed fight-backs by Darwish, the 25-year-old world No8 from Cairo. But, after 75 minutes, it was the wily fourth seed - originally from Newport - who prevailed, winning 11-8, 5-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9 to reach his first PSA Tour final since September 2004.


After surviving a close call in the quarter-finals, Palmer was back to his best in the semi-final. The 30-year-old world champion from Lithgow in New South Wales recovered from a game behind to beat Tuominen, the No3 seed, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 in 47 minutes. It will be the world number two's second Tour final of the year, but the 43rd of his career.


Both women's semis took four games to resolve. Huisman, the No3 seed from the Netherlands, despatched Stoker 9-0, 3-9, 9-7, 9-3 to reach her second WISPA World Tour final.


Hansen, from Odense in Denmark, fought back from a game down to overcome England's fourth seed Kirsty McPhee 4-9, 9-2, 9-6, 9-3 to set up her third Tour final appearance.


Both women's finalists are seeking their maiden WISPA titles.



Walker Tests Palmer In Linköping

Top seed David Palmer was given a stern test by No7 seed Alister Walker in the quarter-finals of the Case Swedish Open Squash Championships before eventually making it through in five games in the 3-star PSA Tour event in Linköping, Sweden.


Englishman Walker, ranked more than 30 places below the world champion from Australia, led 2/1 after surviving a third game tie-break.


But the experienced Palmer, ranked two in the world, soon regained the upper hand to win 11-6, 4-11, 10-11 (1-3), 11-3, 11-3 - and set up a semi-final clash with adopted local hero Olli Tuominen. The third-seeded Finn despatched Irishman Liam Kenny, the No6 seed, 11-8, 11-4, 11-7.


The other men's semi-final also saw the seeds saunter through - Egypt's second seed Karim Darwish beating Pakistan's Aamir Atlas Khan 11-5, 11-2, 11-8 to set up a clash with Welshman Alex Gough, the fourth seed who defeated Davide Bianchetti, of Italy, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9.


Swedish interest in the women's Zack Swedish Open disappeared when Stockholm's Anna-Carin Forstadius went down 9-1, 9-0, 9-5 to England's Kirsty McPhee in the WISPA World Tour event.


The fourth seed from Yorkshire will now take on top seed Line Hansen after the Dane defeated Germany's Daniela Schumann 9-0, 9-1, 9-0.


There will also be English interest in the other semi-final when Georgina Stoker takes on Margriet Huisman. The second seed from Merseyside beat compatriot Carrie Hastings (wrongly reported earlier by organisers as having lost her first round match) 9-5, 9-1, 9-6, while third seed Huisman outplayed Norway's Lotte Eriksen 9-3, 9-1, 9-1.


Men's semi-final line-up:

[1] David Palmer (AUS) v [3] Olli Tuominen (FIN)

[2] Karim Darwish (EGY) v [4] Alex Gough (WAL)

Women's semi-final line-up:

[2] Georgina Stoker (ENG) v [3] Margriet Huisman (NED)

[1] Line Hansen (DEN) v [4] Kirsty McPhee (ENG)


Olli Offers Nordic Interest In Swedish Open Quarters

Olli Tuominen extended Nordic interest through to the quarter-finals of the Case Swedish Open Squash Championships after despatching France's Jean-Michel Arcucci in straight games in the first round of the 3-star PSA Tour event in Linköping, Sweden.


But there will be local interest in the women's Zack Swedish Open when Stockholm sisters Lovisa Forstadius and Anna-Carin Forstadius battle against English opponents in the last eight of the WISPA World Tour event.


Tuominen, the Finnish number one who is third seed in the men's event, defeated unseeded Arcucci 11-5, 11-4, 11-3 and will now face sixth seed Liam Kenny for a place in the semi-finals after the Irishman beat England's Stacey Ross 11-9, 11-9, 11-6.


Australia's top seed David Palmer, the world champion from Lithgow in New South Wales, had a comfortable 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 win over Egyptian qualifier Amr Swelim. The Belgium-based 30-year-old will now meet Alister Walker after the No7 seed was taken to two tie-break games by fellow Englishman Jonathan Harford before quashing the qualifier 11-8, 11-10 (2-0), 11-10 (2-0).


Lovisa Forstadius caused a notable upset in the women's first round when she beat England's NO8 seed Carrie Hastings 9-0, 9-5, 9-1. The 19-year-old, in her WISPA Tour event debut, will now face another English opponent, second seed Georgina Stoker who crushed compatriot Selina Sinclair 9-1, 9-0, 9-0.


Men's quarter-final line-up:

[1] David Palmer (AUS) v [7] Alister Walker (ENG)

[3] Olli Tuominen (FIN) v [6] Liam Kenny (IRL)

[4] Alex Gough (WAL) v [5] Davide Bianchetti (ITA)

[2] Karim Darwish (EGY) v [8] Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK)


Women's quarter-final line-up:

[2] Georgina Stoker (ENG) v Lovisa Forstadius (SWE)

[3] Margriet Huisman (NED) v [6] Lotte Eriksen (NOR)

[4] Kirsty McPhee (ENG) v [7] Anna-Carin Forstadius (SWE)

[1] Line Hansen (DEN) v [5] Daniela Schumann (GER)


England Trio Earn Qualifying Places In Swedish Open

English players Alex Stait, Jonathan Harford and Chris Ryder claimed three of the four qualifying slots in the Case Swedish Open Squash Championships after the completion of the qualifying finals in Linköping, Sweden


Harford, 23, from Leeds, disappointed the local crowd when he despatched Sweden's qualifying hope Badr Abdel Aziz, from Stockholm, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9. He now faces fellow Leeds-based Englishman Alister Walker, the No7 seed.


World University champion Chris Ryder, from Wolverhampton, defeated Germany's European Junior champion Simon Rosner, ranked two places higher in the world, 11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8


Updated 1st round draw:

[1] David Palmer (AUS) v [Q] Amr Swelim (EGY)

[7] Alister Walker (ENG) v [Q] Jonathan Harford (ENG)

[3] Olli Tuominen (FIN) v Jean-Michel Arcucci (FRA)

[6] Liam Kenny (IRL) v Stacey Ross (ENG)

[5] Davide Bianchetti (ITA) v [Q] Chris Ryder (ENG)

[4] Alex Gough (WAL) v Ritwik Bhattacharya (IND)

[8] Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) v Christian Drakenberg (SWE)

[2] Karim Darwish (EGY) v [Q] Alex Stait (ENG)


Swedish Open Attracts Top Squash Players To Linköping

After a two-year absence, the Swedish Open is back on the international squash calendar again as the University town of Linköping, in south Sweden, hosts one of the biggest PSA Tour events in Europe, from 8-11 February.


"The event boasts a $31,250 prize-fund, and the winner will also receive a watch worth around 5,000 US dollars," said tournament director Fredrik Johnson.


Australia's world champion David Palmer is top seed - and expected to meet second seed Karim Darwish, the world No8 from Egypt who won the title in 2004, in the final. Also in the draw is world No18 Olli Tuominen, from nearby Finland.


The Case Swedish Open will be played on a four-glass-walled court in the big arena in Linköping Sporthall.


"In the arena will also be a big exhibition area, a range of different food and drink places, a very nice VIP-lounge for the sponsors and players, and - of course - also a special kids area," added Johnson.


In conjunction with the men's event will be the Women's Zack Swedish Open, a WISPA World Tour event in which Denmark's Line Hansen is the favourite.


"This year the WISPA tournament is a lower grade, but the aim is to raise the prize money for the men's and women's tournaments next year," explained Johnson.


Linköping is the city where Fredrik Johnson was based during his years as a squash professional.


"Linköping right now really looks and sounds like the 'City of squash and Swedish Open'," explained the former Swedish international, now an active player on the Masters circuit.


"It's all over the city with a lot of coverage and adverting in different papers, radio commercials with David Palmer, TV-advertising and a lot of different marketing around the town. National Swedish TV will broadcast one hour from the tournament and one TV-channel will cover the semis and the finals live. Also PSA Live will be here to cover the tournament.


"Wimbledon champion Stefan Edberg, a big squash fan, will be here as well. We have invited Peter Nicol over too, and he has challenged Stefan to an exhibition match," explained Johnson.


Men's 1st round draw:

[1] David Palmer (AUS) v Qualifier

[7] Alister Walker (ENG) v Qualifier

[3] Olli Tuominen (FIN) v Jean-Michel Arcucci (FRA)

[6] Liam Kenny (IRL) v Stacey Ross (ENG)

[5] Davide Bianchetti (ITA) v Qualifier

[4] Alex Gough (WAL) v Ritwik Bhattacharya (IND)

[8] Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) v Christian Drakenberg (SWE)

[2] Karim Darwish (EGY) v Qualifier


Women's 1st round draw:

[2] Georgina Stoker (ENG) v Selina Sinclair (ENG)

[8] Carrie Hastings (ENG) v Lovisa Forstadius (SWE)

[3] Margriet Huisman (NED) v Anna Detter (SWE)

[6] Lotte Eriksen (NOR) v Lauren Selby (ENG)

[7] Anna-Carin Forstadius (SWE) v Qualifier

[4] Kirsty McPhee (ENG) v Victoria Lust (ENG)

[5] Daniela Schumann (GER) v Milou van der Heijden (NED)

[1] Line Hansen (DEN) v Cajsa-Marie Gulin (SWE)