Unpredictable Swedish Open Set to Delight Fans in Linköping
The 2016 UCS Swedish Open begins on Thursday February 4 with a host of well-known names descending on Linköping Sporthall to take part in an event that has become a mainstay of the PSA World Tour and synonymous with exciting action and tense battles.
Following an ankle injury to World Champion Gregory Gaultier, German No.1 Simon Rösner is the new favourite to take the crown but silverware has proved elusive lately for the tall World No.7, with his last PSA World Tour title coming back in November 2014.
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The eight-time PSA World Tour title winner will begin his tournament against Ben Coleman in round one and could face Australian stalwart Cameron Pilley in the quarter-final, the man who memorably downed Gaultier and World No.3 Nick Matthew en-route to the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open final two months ago.
Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad has firmly established himself as a top ten player so far this season and will be looking to cement his status as one of the world’s leading players by taking his first PSA M70 crown.
Gawad’s victory at the Reidbuilt Homes Edmonton Open last November, a PSA M35 event, remains his biggest title win to date but, as the number two seed, he stands to be a real force to be reckoned with in Sweden. Local wildcard Rasmus Hult awaits Gawad in the opening round but Hult will need to halt a run of five consecutive first round exits if he is to make it to the quarter-final.
World No.11 Tarek Momen’s sluggish form in recent months has seen him drop out of the top 10 in the world but a title in Sweden could go some way to restoring his place amongst the world’s elite. Momen reached the semi-final of the PSA Men’s World Championship three months ago, downing Matthew on the way, but has been unable to kick on since then and suffered a disappointing first round exit to Pilley at the Tournament of Champions.
When on form though, Momen is a highly skilled competitor and will be hoping to draw on his ten years of experience as he bids to end a 16 month title drought. Adrian Waller, an Englishman renowned for his impressive stamina and durability, will represent a significant stumbling block to Momen’s hopes of advancing to the latter stages.
Meanwhile, the ever dangerous Max Lee is a dark horse for the title as he looks to follow up September’s impressive Macau Open win. Lee has claimed notable scalps over some of the world’s top players this season, with the likes of the Elshorbagy brothers, Mohamed and Marwan, and Momen all being put to the sword by the man from Hong Kong. Lee has a difficult half of the draw with the experienced Daryl Selby a potential opponent in the quarter-final. Before he can think about getting that far though, Lee will first have to negotiate a testing tie with Scotland’s Alan Clyne in what could prove to be a banana skin fixture given Clyne’s ability to whittle opponents down.
Main Draw: PSA M70, UCS Swedish Open, Linköping, Sweden
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [WC] Rasmus Hult (SWE)
Greg Lobban (SCO) v  Chris Simpson (ENG)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) v [Q] Olli Tuominen (FIN)
Alan Clyne (SCO) v  Max Lee (HKG)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
[Q] Lucas Serme (FRA) v  Fares Dessouki (EGY)
 Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [Q] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)
[Q] Ben Coleman (ENG) v  Simon Rösner (GER)
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