England’s Nick Matthew is seeded to win a record fourth title in this week’s Case Swedish Open as the biggest PSA World Tour event in continental Europe celebrates its tenth anniversary at Linköping Sporthall in Linköping.
The PSA International 70 event, from 29 January to 3 February, has attracted nine of the top 20 players in the world – led by world number two Matthew and defending champion Gregory Gaultier, the world No4 from France (pictured with Matthew above).
Matthew, who missed last year’s event, won the title for three successive years from 2009 after finishing as runner-up in his previous appearance in 2004.
The event has been run for the past ten years by former Swedish international Fredrik Johnson, in collaboration with the Swedish SRA and the local club Linköping Squash Klubb. The Case Swedish Open is part of a festival of squash which features an ‘all-comers’ tournament for around 250 players in 20 different categories.
“It’s fantastic that we now celebrate 10 years with the Case Swedish Open on the glass court in the same arena here in my hometown of Linköping,” said Johnson. “The tournament means so much for Squash in northern Europe and it feels really good with all the entries we have received.
“We have marketed the Case Swedish Open all over the town – and players like Matthew and Gaultier, who we have used as front-figures, are already world famous here before the actual tournament starts!”
Matthew meets a qualifier in the opening round, whilst second seed Gaultier takes on the Swiss number one Nicolas Mueller.
1st round draw:
1 Nick Matthew (ENG) v Qualifier
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Qualifier
Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) v Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
4 Daryl Selby (ENG) v Tarek Momen (EGY)
3 Peter Barker (ENG) v Qualifier
Simon Rosner (GER) v Rasmus Hult (SWE)
Tom Richards (ENG) v Qualifier
2 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Nicolas Mueller (SUI)