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Gregory Gaultier celebrates after is quarter-final win over Tarek Momen

Swedish Open - Semi-Finals: As it Happens

Follow us here for reports and reaction from the semi-final stage of the 2017 UCS Swedish Open held in Linköping.

Two-time winner Gregory Gaultier takes on German No.1 Simon Rösner in the day's first fixture, while defending champion Karim Abdel Gawad will play Scotland's World No.34 Alan Clyne shortly after as he bids to reach his fourth successive PSA World Tour final.

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Here's the Order of Play
(All times are local CET)
14:00 [4] Simon Rösner (GER) v [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
15:15 [1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Alan Clyne (SCO)

Gaultier Sees Off Rösner to Become First Finalist

World No.3 Gregory Gaultier came out on top in an entertaining clash with German No.1 Simon Rösner to reach the final of the UCS Swedish Open for the fourth time in his career.

Both player’s had contrasting paths through to the last four, with Gaultier fighting back from 2-0 and match ball down to defeat Egypt’s Tarek Momen, while an injury to England’s Daryl Selby saw him forced to pull out of his quarter-final meeting with Rösner, giving the tall World No.10 a walkover through to the semi-final stage.

It was a high-quality match from the off, and the match began with both players exchanging points as they felt each other out, with the pair sparring down the side walls in a bid to move the other away from the ’T’.

At 7-7 in the opening game, Rösner made two critical unforced errors, and Gaultier – who led the head-to-head record 14-1 – took full advantage to open up a two-point cushion, before intelligently working the height of the ball to build up a one-game lead.

The ‘French General’ picked up where he left off at the beginning of the second, going 3-0 up, but Rösner came back into the encounter, with the game eventually heading to a tie-break. An incredible passage of play then saw Gaultier hit a sublime cross court nick, before prevailing in a gruelling, fast-paced rally to double his advantage by a 13-11 margin.

The high-quality pattern of hitting continued into the third game, but Gaultier managed to take the important points towards the end of the game once more to record an 11-9, 13-11, 11-8 triumph to move through to the final.

“I played faster, moved faster and had better accuracy compared to the previous day,” said Gaultier.

“I’m happy to be in another final, especially here. 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.

“I’m happy with coming here, I’ve had unsuccessful years when I didn’t make it, but I like to be here and I’m happy to be in another final.”

[2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [4] Simon Rösner (GER) 3-0: 11-9, 13-11, 11-8 (58m)

Gawad Axes Clyne to Set Up Gaultier Final Clash

World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad will compete in the final of the Swedish Open for the second successive year after he recovered from a game down to beat Scotland’s Alan Clyne.

The ‘Baby Faced Assassin’, who beat fellow Egyptian Tarek Momen in last year’s final, is one win away from lifting a fourth straight PSA World Tour title, but went a game behind in his quarter-final clash with Clyne after some intelligent play from the World No.34 pushed Gawad into a tie-break.

With Clyne leading 11-10, the players asked for the ball to be changed after they were unsatisfied with the bounce, and Clyne won the next point after he displayed fantastic width down the back-hand side to take the lead.

Gawad responded by adapting his tactics, instead targeting Clyne’s forehand side as he crashed a number of drives to the back right corner of the court and the approach paid dividends as he levelled for the loss of just four points.

Clyne picked up more points in the third, but Gawad’s accurate hitting kept forcing the 30-year-old into the back of the court, before the Egyptian followed up by going into the kill at the front.

After taking the third game to go in front for the first time, Gawad controlled proceedings in the fourth to wrap up a 10-12, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 victory – setting up a mouthwatering final clash with two-time winner Gregory Gaultier, the man he beat in last month’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions final.

“It was disappointing to be 10-8 up in the first game and lose, but it happens a lot and you have to deal with it,” Gawad said.

“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. Of course, Alan is very tough to play, so luckily I won 3-1 today.

“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.”

Gawad has been sporting a knee bandage throughout the tournament, which the 25-year-old says stems from a training session just days after he triumphed in the final of the Tournament of Champions in New York.

“I had a slight injury after ToC,” he admitted.

“When I went back home, I over-extended my knee in the first practise I had, so I had bleeding inside.

“I’ve been doing treatments on it, it’s not 100 per cent, but luckily I can deal with it, it’s not that bad.”

[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-1: 10-12, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 (54m)

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