A number of the world’s top players will head to Linköping between February 2-5 for the UCS Swedish Open, with the PSA M70 tournament featuring a strong 16-man draw.
World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad will look to continue the astonishing form that has seen him capture three successive PSA World Tour titles, but will face stiff competition from two-time winner Gregory Gaultier, against whom he is seeded to play in the final.
Gawad won his first ever PSA M70 title here last year, and that triumph acted as the catalyst for his rise into the upper echelons of the sport – so we’re taking a look back to a huge week for the man from Giza.
First Round Results
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [WC] Rasmus Hult (SWE) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-8 (27m)
 Chris Simpson (ENG) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (46m)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Olli Tuominen (FIN) 3-0: 11-5, 11-9, 11-7 (41m)
 Max Lee (HKG) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-2: 11-6, 11-7, 4-11, 10-12, 11-8 (69m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-2 (55m)
[Q] Lucas Serme (FRA) bt  Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-2 (68m)
 Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [Q] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 3-1: 11-4, 3-11, 11-8, 11-9 (66m)
 Simon Rösner (GER) bt [Q] Ben Coleman (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 (42m)
Egyptian World No.12 Fares Dessouky fell to a shock first round exit to French qualifier Lucas Serme, then ranked 21 places below Dessouky, in the biggest upset of day one.
Dessouky looked to be heading to a routine win after going a game ahead, but Serme battled to victory in a tense second-game tie-break, which proved to be a turning point as the 24-year-old moved on to take the win in four games.
Top seed Simon Rösner got off to a winning start by beating England’s Ben Coleman, while Gawad eased past wildcard and local favourite Rasmus Hult.
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt  Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-2: 7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 (66m)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) bt  Max Lee (HKG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 16-14 (51m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [Q] Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-3 (35m)
 Simon Rösner (GER) bt  Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-1: 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6 (79m)
Gawad’s tournament nearly came to a premature end against then World No.23 Chris Simpson, before he eventually prevailed in five games.
A fine display from Englishman Daryl Selby saw him take down Hong Kong’s Max Lee with a relatively comfortable 3-0 win to set up a semi-final meeting with Gawad.
Meanwhile, Rösner and World No.8 Tarek Momen defeated Australian No.1 Cameron Pilley and Serme, respectively, to become the other semi-finalists.
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt  Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-8 (42m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt  Simon Rösner (GER) 3-2: 5-11, 14-12, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9 (91m)
Gawad and Momen both earned places in their first ever PSA M70 finals after contrasting semi-final fixtures against Selby and Rösner.
Gawad came through his encounter with Selby courtesy of a comfortable 3-0 victory, while Momen was forced into a gruelling matchup with Rösner, eventually pulling through 3-2 to move to within one win of the Swedish Open title.
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt  Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-2: 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 3-11, 11-4 (80m)
Momen did well to recover from his gargantuan battle against Rösner the night before, but he was ultimately unable to prevent Gawad from taking the crown, going down 3-2 to his close friend and compatriot.
Gawad’s win initially helped him cement his status as a top 10 player, but greater things were to follow for the 25-year-old as he got his hands on the World Championship title, the Qatar Classic title and the World No.2 berth before the end of the year.
Watch the highlights of the 2016 Swedish Open final below!
Log in to SQUASHTV for more classic Swedish Open action – including the 2014 final between Nick Matthew and Ramy Ashour.
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