Ashour set for maiden Swedish Open in New Year as Gaultier looks to defend title
By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Reporter
BRITISH Open champion and world number one, Ramy Ashour, is set to play his first-ever match on Swedish soil when the Case Swedish Open gets underway in Linköping in February.
The 26-year-old Egyptian has been plagued by injuries recently, but will make his Swedish debut against German Simon Rosner in the 11th staging of the biggest PSA World Tour event in continental Europe.
“It will be very exciting to play the Case Swedish Open since I have heard so many great things about this professional tournament and it will be the first time I play a tournament in Sweden,” Ashour told the event’s website.
Tournament director Fredrik Johnson, who launched the event in 2002, added: “The fact that we now have the world number one Ashour for the Case Swedish Open is probably the best thing that has happened so far to this world class event and it ensures that we again have a world event to look forward to here in Sweden.”
France’s defending champion Gregory Gaultier is looking for a third successive title and could face either number seven seed Peter Barker or Cameron Pilley in the quarter-finals; provided he negotiates a first-round encounter with a qualifier.
World champion Nick Matthew won the event three times between 2009-2011 and he will be bidding to make the final for a sixth time when he opens his campaign against fellow Englishman Tom Richards.
With Mohamed Elshorbagy, James Willstrop and Karim Darwish absent, world number seven Borja Golan is seeded fourth for the event and after reaching his first PSA World Series final of his career in Hong Kong last month, the Spaniard will be hoping for a repeat performance in Scandinavia.
Picture by Andreas Hofweber