ToC ankle strain keeps French ace off court
By NATHAN CLARKE
World Champion Gregory Gaultier has been forced to withdraw from the forthcoming UCS Swedish Open after failing to recover from an ankle injury suffered during the semi-finals of January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, PSA World Series tournament.
Gaultier had been favourite to triumph at the PSA M70 tournament for the third time in his career when the action gets under way at Linköping Sporthall, Sweden, on February 2 but now faces an anxious race to recover from injury as soon as possible.
His place in the main draw has been occupied by Adrian Waller while Scotland’s Alan Clyne also moves into the main draw after the withdrawal through injury of Mazen Hesham.
Germany’s Simon Rosner is the new top seed, followed by Egyptians Karim Abdel Gawad and Tarek Momen, with Hong Kong’s Max Lee at four. The wild card goes to Sweden’s Rasmus Hult, who meets Gawad in the first round.
“Greg is a big favourite amongst the spectators and fans here in Sweden so his presence at the tournament will be greatly missed but we all wish him a speedy recovery from his latest injury,” said tournament promoter Fredrik Johnson.
“However, with seven players from inside the World’s top 15 still in contention including World Championship semi-finalists James Willstrop and Tarek Momen, we are certain that the 2016 UCS Swedish Open will once again be a very successful tournament and look forward to welcoming all the players in the next few weeks.
“Alongside the PSA tournament we will see over 250 competitors in action in the all-comers tournament which we have organised at the same time as the UCS Swedish Open tournament in what promises to be an exciting week of action at all levels.”
Main Draw – UCS Swedish Open,
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [WC] Rasmus Hult (SWE)
Chris Simpson (ENG) v  James Willstrop (ENG)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) v [Qualifier] Alan Clyne (SCO) v  Max Lee (HKG)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
[Qualifier] v  Fares Dessouki (EGY)
 Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [Qualifier] [Qualifier] v  Simon Rösner (GER)
Having been held for the first time in the 1970s, the Swedish Open has grown to become one of the biggest International-level tournaments on the PSA World Tour calendar and will enter its 13th year under the stewardship of ActiPro Event.
The 2016 UCS Swedish Open begins with qualification on February 2 – February 3 with main draw action taking place at Linköping Sporthall, Linköping from February 4 to February 7 and tickets can be purchased by visiting www.swedishopensquash.se
Pictures courtesy of PSA and IRENA VANISOVA