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Sensational Gaultier Scores Swedish Success

CASE Swedish Open 2013
29 Jan - 03 Feb, Linköping, $70k 
Round One
31 Jan
01 Feb
02 Feb
3 Feb
[1] Nick Matthew (Eng)
11-6, 11-5, 11-3 (36m)
Chris Simpson (ENG)
Nick Matthew
11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (37m)
Cameron Pilley
Nick Matthew
Karim Abdel Gawad
Nick Matthew
11-3, 12-10, 11-9 (72m)
Gregory Gaultier
Cameron Pilley (Aus)
11-7, 10-12, 8-11, 11-7, 11-2 (64m)
Henrik Mustonen (FIN)
Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
6-11, 11-7, 11-9, 10-12, 11-5 (88m)
Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)
Karim Abdel Gawad
20-18, 11-3, 11-9 (55m)
Tarek Momen
Tarek Momen (Egy)
3-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8 (78m)
[4] Daryl Selby (Eng)
[3] Peter Barker (Eng)
11-5, 11-8, 11-9 (46m)
Adrian Waller (ENG)
Peter Barker
11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9 (70m)
Simon Rosner
Peter Barker
11-6, 11-3, 11-2 (30m)
Gregory Gaultier
Simon Rosner (Ger)
11-7, 11-3, 11-3 (35m)
Rasmus Holt (Swe)
Tom Richards (Eng)
11-7, 11-7, 13-15, 11-7 (40m)
Jonathan Kemp (ENG)
Tom Richards
12-10, 11-5, 11-3 (53m)
Gregory Gaultier
Nicolas Mueller (Sui)
11-9, 11-4, 11-6 (53m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)

RESULTS: PSA International 70 Case Swedish Open, Linköping, Sweden

Qualifying finals:
Henrik Mustonen (FIN) bt Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) 11-4, 11-7, 11-5 (27m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (34m)
Jonathan Kemp (ENG) bt Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) 11-7, 11-5, 11-5 (31m)
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt Siddharth Suchde (IND) 11-9, 11-4, 11-2 (43m)

Sensational Gaultier Scores Swedish Success

A scintillating performance by Gregory Gaultier in today's final of the Case Swedish Open saw the Frenchman beat England's world No2 Nick Matthew in straight games to retain the PSA World Tour International 70 squash title at Linköping Sporthall in Linköping, Sweden.

It was the dream climax of the biggest event in continental Europe which was celebrating its tenth anniversary - in which Matthew was marking his fifth successive final appearance since 2004, and denied a record fourth title.

The clash brought up the 50th Tour title of Gaultier's career - and produced his 23rd title!

World No4 Gaultier took immediate control of the match and quickly established a 5-1 lead. Despite a determined bid by Matthew to control his opponent, Gaultier soon wrapped up the opening game for the loss of just three points.

Matthew requested a three-minute injury break before the second to attend to blisters - and came back to provide a more evenly-contested game in which points were shared up to 10-all. After saving a game-ball against him, the Frenchman played a stunning backhand crosscourt winner to take a two-game lead.

Matthew built up a 9-6 lead in the third as the packed crowd sensed a comeback - and hopefully a fourth game. But after five superb winners in a row, it was Gaultier who recorded his fourth straight games win in a row to clinch the title 11-3, 10-12, 11-9 in 72 minutes.

"I am very pleased with the match," said the 30-year-old from Aix-en-Provence as he collected his trophy. "Me and Nick know each other well and have played against each other since junior time.

"It is always even and it's important to defend the T-position. I want to thank the organisers and the audience for a great week - and I will gladly return next year."

Matthew told his Twitter followers: "Disappointed to lose today, especially 3-0 but Greg v. sharp. Good start, immaculate width/length & play the big points well = decent combo."

Tournament Director Fredrik Johnson thanked the sponsors, partners and audience at the trophy presentation - and said to the players: "You are true superstars and professionals and I will see you all next year again!"

Matthew & Gaultier To Contest Swedish Open Final

Defending champion Gregory Gaultier and three-time champion Nick Matthew will contest the climax of the Case Swedish Open after today's contrasting semi-finals of the PSA World Tour International 70 squash event celebrating its tenth year at Linköping Sporthall in Linköping, Sweden.

Frenchman Gaultier, the No2 seed, defeated England's third seed Peter Barker 11-6, 11-3, 11-2, while English favourite Matthew was handed a place in the final without walking onto the court after his unseeded Egyptian opponent Tarek Momen was forced to withdraw with an Achilles injury.

From three-all in the opening game, Gaultier rapidly moved 7-3 ahead before taking the game 11-6.

Londoner Barker, ranked eight in the world, was unable to match the Frenchman's pace as Gaultier maintained his focus to close out the match after three games.

"I like playing on this court and I like the crowd here in Linköping," said the upbeat world No4 afterwards.

When asked about the injury he received on his left hand during the previous match against Tom Richards, Gaultier responded: "That was not an obstacle for the semi-final."

It was a devastated Momen who said later: "I have had this injury for two months - I'm disappointed and was hoping that I could play on painkillers, but this was not working anymore.

"I do not want to risk aggravating the injury further," added the 24-year-old from Cairo who is celebrating a career-high world No11 ranking this month.

Matthew and Gaultier will be meeting for the 22nd time in their careers - and already the third time this month! The Englishman will be marking his 53rd Tour final appearance - while Gaultier will be celebrating his 50th!

Barker Battles Through To Swedish Open Semis

England's third seed Peter Barker (right) had to be at the top of his game in the quarter-finals of the Case Swedish Open to see off top-ranked German Simon Rosner and claim his anticipated place in the semi-finals of the PSA World Tour International 70 squash event celebrating its tenth year at Linköping Sporthall in Linköping, Sweden.

After the first two games were shared, the third was nip and tuck before Barker edged it to move 2/1 up.

The left-hander from London raced to a 9-1 lead in the fourth - but the forceful and inventive Rosner clawed back six points in a row before Barker stopped the rot to reach match-ball.

Again Rosner pulled off two more sensational crosscourt shots into the nick to reduce the deficit - but a punched fist by Barker showed his delight when a wall-hugging shot was out of the German's reach as he celebrated his 11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9 victory.

"Rosner played well and I had to run a lot," said the world No8 after surviving the day's longest battle in 70 minutes. "I enjoyed the game, but in the fourth game I felt a little edgy. Luckily I crossed the finish line."

Barker will now face Gregory Gaultier (left) after the second-seeded Frenchman defeated England's Tom Richards 12-10, 11-5, 11-3 in 53 minutes.

"I had a hard time getting started in the first game," said the world No4 from Aix-en-Provence. "Now I'm looking forward to the next game - but I need to keep my focus because tomorrow is another day."

World No12 Richards told his Twitter followers later: "Lost out tonight but happy to make improvements on my last performance against Greg."

The other semi-final will see defending champion Nick Matthew, the top seed from England bidding to win a fourth title, take on unseeded Egyptian Tarek Momen.

World No2 Matthew (right) faced Cameron Pilley, the top-ranked Australian who had reached the last eight after surviving a five-game battle against unheralded Finn Henrik Mustonen.

Matthew dominated the match, winning 11-7, 11-6, 11-5. "I'm looking forward to the game tomorrow and hopefully I will be sharper in that game so that it will help me stay focused," said the 32-year-old from Sheffield.

Momen knocked out his Egyptian compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad 20-18, 11-3, 11-9.

"The first game will go down as the longest in the Case Swedish Open's history and lasted for 30 minutes," reported event spokesman Niklas Lillman.

Momen, (left) who celebrates a career-high world No11 ranking this month, admitted that the first game took a lot out of both players: "We know each other very well and we often play against each other," explained the 24-year-old from Cairo. "Both of us were tired after the first long game and I'm happy to get to play again tomorrow."

Gawad & Momen Mount Marathon Upsets In Sweden

In the two longest matches on the opening the day of the Case Swedish Open, Egyptians Karim Abdel Gawad and Tarek Momen produced notable upsets to reach the quarter-finals of the PSA World Tour International 70 squash event celebrating its tenth year at Linköping Sporthall in Linköping, Sweden.

Gawad, the 21-year-old world No26 making his debut in the biggest event in continental Europe, recovered from a game down to beat experienced Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema.

The Cairo newcomer squandered a match-ball in the fourth game when hoping for a stroke and given 'no let' - allowing Anjema, the 30-year-old world No14, to force the match into a fifth game decider.

But the young Egyptian's inventive play continued to have the edge over the powerful left-hander as Gawad went on to close out the match 6-11, 11-7, 11-9, 10-12, 11-5 after 88 minutes.

Momen went into the battle against fourth seed Daryl Selby with the psychological advantage of a win over the higher-ranked Englishman in their last meeting.

But Selby looked determined to make amends as he took the first game for the loss of just three points, then recovered from dropping the second on a tie-break to take the third and move 2/1 ahead.

However 24-year-old Momen - now an established figure in the world top 20 - reclaimed the advantage to win the next two games to record a 3-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8 upset after 78 minutes.

The two unseeded Egyptians now face off for a place in the semi-finals.

Another upset looked on the cards when Nordic hope Henrik Mustonen, a qualifier from Finland, opened up a 2/1 lead against Australian number one Cameron Pilley. But the tall world No18 from New South Wales recovered the upper hand before taking the match 11-7, 10-12, 8-11, 11-7, 11-2 in 64 minutes.

Pilley now faces Nick Matthew, the top seed from England who held off the challenge of fellow countryman Chris Simpson to beat the qualifier from Guernsey 11-6, 11-5, 11-3.

Defending champion Gregory Gaultier also faced a tough opening challenge from Swiss number one Nicolas Mueller, the world No21. Frenchman Gaultier, ranked 17 places higher, needed 53 minutes to earn his victory, but did so in straight games, winning 11-9, 11-4, 11-6.

Gaultier now meets Tom Richards, the world No13 from England who beat compatriot Jonathan Kemp, a qualifier, 11-7, 11-7, 13-15, 11-7.

English Trio Qualify In Sweden

English interest in the Case Swedish Open will be boosted by three after Adrian Waller, Jonathan Kemp and Chris Simpson prevailed in the qualifying finals of the PSA World Tour International 70 squash event celebrating its tenth year at Linköping Sporthall in Linköping, Sweden.

Simpson will mark his third successive appearance in the main draw following his 11-9, 11-4, 11-2 victory over India's Siddharth Suchde. The world No29 from Guernsey has been drawn to face compatriot Nick Matthew, the world No2 seeded to become the first player to win the title four times in Linköping.

Kemp, making his first appearance on the PSA World Tour this year, denied Kristian Frost Olesen a place in the first round by beating the Danish champion 11-7, 11-5, 11-5. The former world No20 from Ipswich now lines up against fellow Englishman Tom Richards, the world No13.

Waller defeated Malaysian Muhd Asyraf Azan 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 - and is also drawn to meet a fellow countryman, Peter Barker, the event's third seed.

But the quickest win of the day gave the biggest event in continental Europe an unexpected Nordic boost when Finland's Henrik Mustonen upset Marwan El Shorbagy - the 19-year-old world junior champion from Egypt struggling with a hamstring injury - 11-4, 11-7, 11-5 in just 27 minutes.

Mustonen, the Finnish number two ranked 51 in the world, makes his second successive appearance in the main draw, against Australian Cameron Pilley.


Case Swedish Open Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

England's Nick Matthew is seeded to win a record fourth title in this week's Case Swedish Open as the biggest PSA World Tour squash event in continental Europe celebrates its tenth anniversary at Linköping Sporthall in Linköping.

The PSA International 70 event, from 29 January to 3 February, has attracted nine of the top 20 players in the world - led by world number two Matthew and defending champion Gregory Gaultier, the world No4 from France.

Matthew, who missed last year's event, won the title for three successive years from 2009 after finishing as runner-up in his previous appearance in 2004.

The event has been run for the past ten years by former Swedish international Fredrik Johnson, in collaboration with the Swedish SRA and the local club Linköping Squash Klubb. The Case Swedish Open is part of a festival of squash which features an 'all-comers' tournament for around 250 players in 20 different categories.

"It's fantastic that we now celebrate 10 years with the Case Swedish Open on the glass court in the same arena here in my hometown of Linköping," said Johnson. "The tournament means so much for Squash in northern Europe and it feels really good with all the entries we have received.

"We have marketed the Case Swedish Open all over the town - and players like Matthew and Gaultier, who we have used as front-figures, are already world famous here before the actual tournament starts!"

Matthew meets a qualifier in the opening round, whilst second seed Gaultier takes on the Swiss number one Nicolas Mueller.