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Coppinger Halts Willstrop Comeback in Sweden


South African Stephen Coppinger, the 30-year-old World No.16, ended the return to action of England’s James Willstrop during the quarter-finals of the 2015 CASE Swedish Open, taking out the former World No.1 3-1 to book his place in the last four.

SH13582It was the first time that Cape Town’s Coppinger had recorded a victory over Willstrop on the PSA World Tour, having failed on all three previous attempts, but he outshone the Yorkshire-based man from the start, continuing to show the kind of composure and discipline that has seen him rise eight places in the world rankings in the last three months whilst finishing as runner-up at the recent Motor City Open.

After taking the lead in the first game, Coppinger showed his hunger by coming from 3-7 down in the second game to extend his advantage and take a commanding lead against Willstrop. The Englishman mounted a spirited fightback in the third game, eventually taking it 13-11 courtesy of four game balls, but he couldn’t maintain momentum and Coppinger saw out the match 11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 11-7 after 63-minutes.

We all know that James is an outstanding squash player but he had quite a slow start today and only found his rhythm after a while,” said Coppinger.

“He has just come back from an injury and will certainly be back even stronger next game buy I’m very pleased to get the win today.”

Coppinger will now face World No.2 and tournament top seed Gregory Gaultier in the semi-finals after the Frenchman easily disposed of qualifier Tom Richards while defacing champion and number two seed Nick Matthew faces German Simon Rösner for a place in the final after a closely fought 3-0 victory over Australian Cameron Pilley.

CASE Swedish Open Quarter-finals:
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q} Tom Rochards (ENG) 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 (41m)
[8] Stephen Coppinger (RSA) bt [3] James Willstrop (ENG)  11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 11-7 (63m)
[4] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [5] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY)  11-6, 11-6, 11-4 (39m)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [7] Cameron Pilley (AUS)  12-10, 11-8, 12-10 (60m)

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