World No.1 Gregory Gaultier has withdrawn from this week’s UCS Swedish Open after suffering a partial rupture of his adductor during last month’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions – meaning that current World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy will overtake the Frenchman at the summit of the men’s World Rankings next month.
Defending champion Gaultier will be unable to defend the ranking points he accrued while winning last year's Swedish Open and, with the points set to expire on February 28, will see his points average dip below ElShorbagy’s average on March 1, regardless of the Egyptian’s performance at the Windy City Open later this month.
The withdrawal of the three-time winner, who injured himself during an epic quarter-final clash with England’s Nick Matthew last month in New York, sees compatriot Gregoire Marche move into the main draw, while Tournament of Champions runner-up Tarek Momen takes the number two seed spot and will face World No.27 Mathieu Castagnet.
Germany’s Simon Rösner, who beat Momen in New York to lift a maiden World Series title, becomes the number four seed and will play England’s Declan James, with Australia’s Cameron Pilley moving into the final seeded position to face a qualifier.
Despite Gaultier’s absence from the tournament, the Swedish Open – which takes place between February 8-11 at Linköping Sporthall – features a host of top-class talent, with new top seed Ali Farag looking to build on the superb form that has seen him rise to World No.3, while the likes of Rösner and Momen stunned the squash world to reach the title decider of the Tournament of Champions last month.
New Zealand’s Paul Coll – a finalist at last week’s Motor City Open – is also included, while the experience of former World No1 James Willstrop and 2015 World Championship runner-up Omar Mosaad will also be on show in an unpredictable draw.
The inaugural Swedish Open took place in the 1970s and the 2018 edition will see tournament promoters ActiPro Event celebrate their 15th year running the tournament.
Qualification for the tournament takes place between February 6-7 at Linköping Squash Center and Norrköping Squash Center, with main draw matches taking place on the glass court at Linköping Sporthall between February 8-11.
All main draw matches will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only), while tickets start from 100 SEK and can be purchased on the tournament website.
Revised Main Draw – 2018 UCS Swedish Open
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[Qualifier] v  Cameron Pilley (AUS)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Declan James (ENG) v  Simon Rösner (GER)
 Paul Coll (NZL) v [Qualifier]
[WC] Rasmus Hult (SWE) v  Omar Mosaad (EGY)
 James Willstrop (ENG) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v  Ali Farag (EGY)