Gawad and Gaultier Set Up Swedish Open Final Showdown by Sean Reuthe
February 4, 2017
- Defending champion Karim Abdel Gawad and two-time winner Gregory
Gaultier will lock horns in the final of the 2017 UCS Swedish Open
after they both claimed wins on semi-finals day at the PSA M70
tournament held in Linköping.
Gawad - who triumphed over fellow Egyptian Tarek Momen in last year’s
final - went a game down to Scotland’s World No.34 Alan Clyne in his
last four clash after Clyne displayed some inch-perfect width and
But Gawad adapted his tactics to target Clyne’s forehand side, and the
change in approach paid dividends as he crashed a series of drives into
the back right corner, before going in for the kill at the front. The
World No.2 took the next three games without reply to seal a 10-12,
11-4, 11-8, 11-5 and keep his hopes of lifting a fourth straight PSA
World Tour title alive.
"I didn’t want to play a very long match today, I had a very tough one
yesterday, so I wanted to keep as much energy for tomorrow’s match in
the final," said Gawad.
"I played Greg twice last month, once in an exhibition and once in ToC.
Now we’re playing in the Swedish Open for a third time, and it’s tough
to play him three times in 30 days.
"But I enjoyed playing him, I’ve had a lot of experience playing him
before and now I’m competing with him. I got the last win, so hopefully
tomorrow I can get another one."
Gaultier - a winner here in 2012 and 2013 - earned his place in a
fourth career Swedish Open final after he came out on top in an
entertaining clash with German No.1 Simon Rösner.
It was a high-quality match from the off as both players exchanged
points with gusto, with some delicate touches and physically demanding
rallies captivating spectators at the Linköping Sporthall.
And it was Gaultier who held his nerve towards the end of all three
games to edge the tall World No.10 by an 11-9, 13-11, 11-8 margin.
“I’m happy to be in another final, especially here," the Frenchman said.
"I’ve been here for so many years, since the first edition 16 years
ago. I was a kid back then, 18-years-old, so I always try and play it.
I’ve missed it once or twice because of injuries, but otherwise I
always try to come here.
"For us, it’s not too far away and it’s good to motivate people from
Europe to organise tournaments. That’s why it’s important for me to
come here. People are always warm here, you feel really welcome and
they do everything to make you feel comfortable."
Gawad and Gaultier last met in January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of
Champions final, where an absorbing contest ended in a 3-1 win to Gawad
in New York’s iconic Grand Central Terminal.
Results - Semi-Finals: 2017 UCS Swedish Open
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-1: 10-12, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5 (54m)
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt  Simon Rösner (GER) 3-0: 11-9, 13-11, 11-8 (58m)
Draw - Final: To Be Played February 5th
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)