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Gawad Retains Pittsburgh Open Title

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Egyptian World No.20 Karim Abdel Gawad ensured the Pittsburgh Open title remained in his grasp for the second consecutive year following an impressive 3-1 win over number four seed Alan Clyne in the finale of the first PSA International 25 event of 2015.

Gawad, the 23-year-old from Alexandria, was a surprise victor in 2014 when he beat then top seed Alister Walker in the final but he went into the 2015 edition as firm favourite and put in an impressive performance against Clyne, the Scottish World No.36, to take the spoils.

It was the Scotsman who got off to the better start in the title-decider, taking the opening game courtesy of a tie-break, but Gawad dug in and reversed his fortunes to take the second game and level the match. From then on Gawad’s style won out and he took advantage of a tiring Clyne in the final game to earn his ninth PSA World Tour title.

Clyne had to overcome tournament surprise package Charles Sharpes to book his place in the finale after the 22-year-old English World No.69 belied his ranking with some superb performances, notably taking out number two seed Alister Walker in the tournament’s opening round before defeating fellow qualifier Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi, who had shocked number seven seed Mahesh Mangaonkar, in the quarter-finals to set up his semi-final with Clyne.

RESULTS: PSA International 25 Pittsburgh Open, Pittsburgh, United States

1st round:
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [Q] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-1: 9-11, 14-12, 12-10, 12-10 (83m)
[8] Diego Elias (PER) bt Alfredo Avila (MEX) 3-2: 11-6, 4-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-6 (75m)
[6] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt [Q] Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) 3-2: 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 (44m)
[3] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-2: 6-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-3 (80m)
[4] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt [WC] Joel Hinds (ENG) 3-1: 13-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-3 (52m)
[5] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 11-9 (40m)
[Q] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt [7] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-2: 11-5, 5-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-1 (78m)
[Q] Charles Sharpes (ENG) bt [2] Alister Walker (BOT) 3-0: 13-11, 11-9, 11-4 (42m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [8] Diego Elias (PER) 3-0: 11-8, 18-16, 11-6 (56m)
[6] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt [3] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 13-11 (81m)
[4] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt [5] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 3-1: 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-7 (73m)
[Q] Charles Sharpes (ENG) bt [Q] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-2: 5-11, 11-4, 1-11, 12-10, 11-6 (51m)

Semi-finals:
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [6] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-1: 11-9, 11-7, 3-11, 11-8 (47m)
[4] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt [Q] Charles Sharpes (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 11-4, 8-11, 11-6 (54m)

Final:
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [4] Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-1: 11-13, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7

By Sean Reuthe

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