by Simon Daish
The most recent Swedish player to participate in the Women’s Singles competition was Åsa Carlsson (Svensson) in 2002 when the tournament, formerly played under the 12 player format, was hosted in the Dutch city of Rotterdam.
Matilda Ekholm has received invitations to compete at the event in previous years but is yet to make her debut, having withdrawn previously due to injury and missing out on the second occasion due to the tournament being cancelled in 2013.
Now with the 2017 Europe Top 16 Cup approaching ever closer Ekholm will be feeling confident about her chances in Antibes, and is happy to see her hard work begin to have an effect on her world ranking after she moved into 35th position in January 2017’s table.
“I’m not sure of the form. I have been vacant for three weeks over Christmas and New Year, but now I’m back up and running. Glad it is visible on the rankings list that has not been idle after the Olympics, this ranking has equalled my highest so far.” – Matilda Ekholm.
The other two Swedish representatives are set to take part in the Men’s Singles category, with Kristian Karlsson and debutant Mattias Karlsson having booked their names on the invitation list.
Kristian Karlsson managed to pull off an impressive fourth place finish at last year’s competition, and Mattias Karlsson believes that the conquest for silverware will be closely contested at the 2017 competition.
“Last year I was first reserve so then it was close… The opposition is extremely good and it is a very even line-up, it feels like everyone can beat everyone.” – Mattias Karlsson.