Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad and New Zealander Joelle King have been named the PSA Players of the Month for September after a series of fine results saw the duo impress during a hectic month of action on the PSA World Tour.
After turning heads during August’s Hong Kong Open, where he finished runner-up to Ramy Ashour, Gawad continued to show a new found maturity and ruthlessness in his play as he lifted the Al Ahram Squash Open NewGiza title – the iconic event that took place in front of Egypt’s breathtaking Pyramids.
Having grown up in the shadow of the iconic structures Gawad – who this week celebrated breaking into the World’s Top 5 for the first time in his career at No.4 – produced two back-to-back performances of real note to defeat compatriots Tarek Momen and Omar Mosaad in straight games and reach the final, where he took on fellow rising Egyptian star Ali Farag.
But Farag, who had downed World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in the last four, had no answer to Gawad’s precision and focus as the 25-year-old stormed to the title 3-0 and set down a marker for the rest of the season and underline his potential to go all the way in the World Rankings.
The stunning site of Gawad's victory
That result for Gawad came just a week after Joelle King lived up to her billing as the top seed at the Macau Open, when she took the silverware in the most significant victory since her comeback from a career threatening leg injury suffered in 2014.
King started the month with confident wins against Delia Arnold and Sarah-Jane Perry at the China Open which signalled a return to the sort of form that took her as high as World No.4 in 2014.
While she lost out to Laura Massaro in the semi-finals in China, King bounced back in confident style in Macau, getting past Siyoli Waters, Line Hansen, Arnold and then downing Hong Kong’s Annie Au in the title decider to secure the W50 tournament – the biggest title of her career to date.