As we look ahead to another season, the PSA's Matt Coles has been talking to the stars of the PSA World Tour about their 2019-20 campaigns. Here he catches up with Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad.
World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad has admitted that his main goals for the upcoming 2019-2020 PSA World Tour campaign are to become World No.1 and World Champion.
If the Egyptian was to achieve his goals, he would seal both for the second time in his career, having been World Champion in 2016, and then World No.1 in May 2017.
“I’ve been World No.1 and World Champion before, which makes me always looking forward to what I reached and stay a bit more in it,” Gawad said
“That’s what I am working for and looking forward to and will always give it the maximum I have to be there again.”
The ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ will come into the 2019-2020 season off the back of winning the last major event of the last campaign, as he took victory at the CIB PSA World Tour Finals in Cairo in June.
“It felt awesome for ending the season with that win [at the World Tour Finals], playing my best squash and also winning a huge event that I always dreamt of winning. It just gives me huge motivation for next season.”
Gawad, alongside Raneem El Welily (left), with the World Tour Finals trophy
Both of Gawad’s victories over the course of the 2018-2019 season came in Cairo, as he won the CIB Black Ball Open in December.
Despite not getting a win away from home soil, the Egyptian believes that he still played well throughout the entire campaign.
“I think I played quite well and consistently throughout the whole season,” he explained.
“I was just getting better and better during the season and getting closer and closer on each event and winning two major tournaments made it better, especially ending the season with a huge win.”
Unsurprisingly, Gawad believes that his best performances came in the two tournaments that he succeeded at, mainly down to being so relaxed on court.
“I would say in both tournaments, the CIB Black Ball Open and the CIB World Tour Finals, I played my best squash of the season, and I felt really comfortable and relaxed on court,” the Egyptian said.
Gawad’s first tournament of the new season will be the U.S. Open, which takes place from 5-12 October in Philadelphia.
Keep a look out for the first player’s preview ahead the 2019-20 season in the coming days, as American Haley Mendez previews her campaign.