11:46 am
21 Feb 2019

Gaultier Goes As Pilley Pushes On In Swedish Open

6 Feb 2010

Unseeded Australian Cameron Pilley continued his unexpected march through the field of the Case Swedish Open when he upset third-seeded Frenchman Gregory Gaultier to reach the semi-finals of the $60,000 PSA Tour squash event in its seventh year at Linköping Sporthall in Linköping.

Pilley, the world No17 from New South Wales who beat Egypt's No7 seed Mohamed El Shorbagy in the first round, recovered from a game down to defeat Gaultier 4-11, 11-6, 11-4, 12-14, 11-9. It was the 27-year-old Australian's first win against the Frenchman (both pictured) who topped the world rankings last year, in six Tour meetings since 2007.

"It was big nerves in the match, starting on my part, but I noticed that Gaultier was increasingly under pressure from my game," explained Pilley afterwards. "Although I lost the fourth game, which I should have brought home, I continued playing my game and it paid off."

The tall Aussie will now face defending champion Nick Matthew for a place in the final. The top-seeded Englishman defeated another Australian, eighth seed Stewart Boswell, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8.

"It was a difficult match, Stewart put up a really good fight," said the world number two from Sheffield. "But it felt much better than in the previous match, because it is always difficult to adapt to a new court. But after this morning's workout it felt so good.

"I'm in really good shape right now after playing steady squash for some months. It is always fun to play in front of the audience in Linköping," added the 29-year-old title-holder, in his fourth appearance in the event.

The crowd will be treated to a mouth-watering clash in the other semi-final where second seed Amr Shabana takes on fourth seed James Willstrop in a repeat of last month's Tournament of Champions quarter-final in New York which Englishman Willstrop won en-route to claiming the prestigious 2010 PSA Super Series title for the first time.

Shabana, the former world number one from Egypt, beat England's fifth seed Adrian Grant 11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, while Willstrop also took four games to overcome compatriot Alister Walker, the sixth seed, 11-8, 11-3, 7-11, 11-6.

"I was far from happy with losing the third game, but eventually I managed to win," said 26-year-old Willstrop. "Alister is always a difficult opponent because he plays a fast game, and the glass court also encourages a fast game which benefits him."

The Linkoping crowd will witness the 21st PSA Tour meeting between Willstrop and Shabana since their first at the 2004 Swedish Open. While Willstrop was the most recent winner, it is the Egyptian who is ahead overall by a 14/6 margin.

Quarter-finals:
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [8] Stewart Boswell (AUS) 11-6, 11-7, 11-8
Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 4-11, 11-6, 11-4, 12-14, 11-9
[4] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [6] Alister Walker (ENG) 11-8, 11-3, 7-11, 11-6
[2] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt [5] Adrian Grant (ENG) 11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5