World champion looking for strong start to 2017 campaign
By NATHAN CLARKE
The 2016 world champion Karim Abdel Gawad, the 25-year-old who has stormed the PSA World Tour so far during the 2016-17 season to reach the final of the Hong Kong Open and take the honours at the Qatar Classic, will be the star attraction when the 2017 UCS Swedish Open gets under way in Linköping, Sweden from February 2-5.
The defending champion and World No.2, whose rise to prominence began when he captured the Swedish Open crown earlier this year, will face Malaysian Nafiizwan Adnan, who himself has been in career best form of late, in a tough first round encounter.
A strong draw also includes 2015 world champion Gregory Gaultier and 2016 World Series Finals runner-up Cameron Pilley.
The star-studded field will also feature top 20 players such as Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez, England’s resurgent Daryl Selby, 2016 World Series Finals qualifiers Simon Rösner and Mathieu Castagnet and in-form Egyptian duo Fares Dessouky and Tarek Momen, while local hopes will rest on the shoulders of Wildcard Rasmus Hult.
“We’re delighted to have such a strong collection of players, including the two most recent winners of the PSA World Championship, competing in the 2017 UCS Swedish Open and look forward to what promises to be a very exciting week of squash,” said Fredrik Johnson, CEO of ActiPro Event.
“The UCS Swedish Open is always a fantastic event and I am sure that in 2017 we will once again see some world class action on the magnificent glass court in Linköping.”
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 14th year under the stewardship of ActiPro Event.
The 2017 UCS Swedish Open begins with qualification onJanuary 31 with main draw action taking place at Linköping Sporthall, Linköping from February 2 – February 5 and tickets can be purchased by visiting www.swedishopensquash.se
PSA M70 UCS Swedish Open, Linköping, Sweden (February 2-5, 2017).
First Round Draw:
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
[Qualifier] v  Cameron Pilley (AUS)
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
[WC] Rasmus Hult (SWE) v  Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
 Simon Rösner (GER) v [Qualifier] Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) v  Fares Dessouky (EGY)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v [Qualifier] [Qualifier] v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Picture courtesy of PSA