Defending champion Olli Tuominen marched into the semi-finals of the Savcor Finnish Open after taking out fellow Finn Henrik Mustonen in straight games in the quarter-finals of the long-established PSA World Tour Challenger 15 event at Shopping Center Stella in Mikkeli, Finland.

"The long-awaited clash between Finland's top two players did not leave any doubts who is the number one," said event spokesman Poku Salo. "Tuominen came on court well-prepared and concentrated, took the balls early and put pressure on Mustonen, who had his moments in the third game when leading 5-3 and 7-6.

"That was how far Mustonen came, as Tuominen took the next five points and the match."

The 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 victory takes Tuominen, the world No23 from Helsinki (pictured with Mustonen) who is looking for his fifth title, through to meet surprise opponent Rasmus Nielsen.

The Danish qualifier made sure of Nordic interest in the final when he upset fourth-seeded Czech Jan Koukal 11-5, 11-7, 11-5 in just 20 minutes.

Second seed Karim Abdel Gawad endured two tough games against qualifier Mohamed Abouelghar before beating his fellow Egyptian 12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4 in 44 minutes to keep alive his hopes of reaching the final for a second successive year.

Gawad will now take on his third compatriot in the event when he faces Karim Ali Fathi, the No3 seed from Cairo who recovered from a game down to beat Australian Steven Finitsis 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 in a long and entertaining 71-minute match.

Semi-final line-up:
[1] Olli Tuominen (FIN) v [Q] Rasmus Nielsen (DEN)
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [3] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 (36m)
[Q] Rasmus Nielsen (DEN) bt [4] Jan Koukal (CZE) 11-5, 11-7, 11-5 (20m)
[3] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt Steven Finitsis (AUS) 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 (71m)
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4 (44m)