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 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 (pictured with Barker) 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!