Peru’s World No.7 Diego Elias will appear in the semi-finals of the FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships for the first time after he came back from a game down to overcome World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad at Philadelphia’s Drexel University.
22-year-old Elias hadn’t beaten Gawad on the PSA Tour prior to tonight – losing all five of their previous meetings – but he played with maturity to defeat the Egyptian and earn a spot in only his second major semi-final.
Gawad began the match strongly to take the first game as Elias looked nervous on court. The Peruvian soon improved in the second, however, to level the scores on a tight tie-break before moving into a 2-1 lead.
The roof is raised in Philly!— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) October 10, 2019
diegoelias96</a> takes a crucial point to put one foot in the <a href="https://twitter.com/USOpenSquash?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">USOpenSquash semis!#USOpenSquash pic.twitter.com/WPM4C2LA7D
Things looked to be going the way of the Peruvian to take a 3-1 win as he raced into an early lead in the fourth, however, Gawad showcased his comeback skills to level the scores. But it was Elias who showed his resilience as he put in a mature performance to close out one of his biggest wins on the PSA Tour.
“I’m just so happy with my performance today,” said 22-year-old Elias afterwards.
“I think I like this place – it was my first quarter final here and now my first semi-final here. I’m just really happy to have my dad here and Jonathon [Power], he has been helping me for so long and I’m really happy that this is happening.
“I didn’t really know what was happening at the beginning. My legs weren’t moving ok and I think I was a bit nervous, but having them both in my corner was a huge help and I just didn’t want to lose today. I was trying my hardest and even if I lost, I knew that I was trying my best.
“I’m feeling really confident, now I have to recover. I always have good matches with Ali, so I want to be at 100% to play good and have another great match with him.”
 Diego Elias (PER) bt  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-2: 4-11, 12-10, 11-7, 5-11, 11-7 (80m)