World No.1 seeded to meet Ali Farag in final
By SEAN REUTHE
World No.1 Gregory Gaultier will return to defend his UCS Swedish Open title between February 8-11, 2018 as he headlines a top-class draw that will battle it out for the PSA M70 title inside Linköping Sporthall.
Gaultier, who turned 35 last month, is a three-time winner of the Swedish Open and last year beat 2016 World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad in the final.
This time around the charismatic Frenchman is seeded to meet World No.3 Ali Farag in the title decider, with Farag making his Swedish Open debut at the 2018 edition of the tournament.
Gaultier begins his tournament against compatriot Mathieu Castagnet in round one, with further matches against the likes of German No.1 Simon Rösner and World No.7 Tarek Momen in store for the sport’s oldest ever World No.1.
Farag, meanwhile, kicks off his tournament against a qualifier in round one, with 2008 winner James Willstrop seeded to be his quarter-final opponent before a predicted semi-final matchup with World No.11 Paul Coll.
Stockholm-based Rasmus Hult takes the tournament wildcard spot for the eighth successive year and he will look to make it past the opening round for the first time when he takes on former World No.3 Omar Mosaad.
“We are looking forward to hosting another week of world-class squash for the 2018 edition of the Swedish Open, which looks set to be the most exciting instalment yet,” said Tournament Promoter and ActiPro Event Chief Executive, Fredrik Johnson.
“Not only do we have the support of the current World No.1, Gregory Gaultier, we will also have four of the world’s top 10 players – and nine of the top 20 – competing on the glass court here in Linköping, which is further evidence of the Swedish Open’s status as one of the biggest and most highly-regarded European tournaments on the PSA World Tour.”
The Swedish Open first began in the 1970s and the 2018 edition will see 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: www.swedishopensquash.se/tickets
2018 UCS Swedish Open:
Main Draw First Round:
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[Qualifier] v  Simon Rösner (GER)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
Zahed Mohamed (EGY) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
 Paul Coll (NZL) v [Qualifier]
[WC] Rasmus Hult (SWE) v  Omar Mosaad (EGY)
 James Willstrop (ENG) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v  Ali Farag (EGY)
Picture courtesy of PSA