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Karim Abdel Gawad

Egyptian Open: Gawad Beats ElShorbagy to Reach Semi-Finals

Egypt’s former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad continued his good form in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza after he defeated compatriot and World No.10 Marwan ElShorbagy to reach the semi-finals of the CIB Egyptian Squash Open.

‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ Gawad won in front of the Pyramids back in 2016 and the Egyptian made sure he kept up that good run of form as he came from a game down against ElShorbagy to reach the last four.

ElShorbagy took full advantage of a slow start from Gawad as he stormed into a one-game lead, however, former World Champion Gawad responded well in the second to level the scores.

The remaining two games proved to be tight, with both players exchanging the lead and pushing each other to their limits, before Gawad was able to take control to kick on in both and see out a 4-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9 victory.

“It’s always tough against Marwan,” said the 28-year-old after. “He moves so well on court, especially around the middle. Any loose shots or any opportunity he will take.

“I had to take care of every shot and in the first game I couldn’t even get past him in the middle, so I had to focus on that and put him in the back corners and attack from the middle a little bit more. I’m really happy to get through to the semi-finals at my favourite tournament ever.

“When the matches are very crucial and especially when it goes into the fourth and fifth, it happens that the referee has to do a lot of work and video reffing. I don’t think anything bad happened today and it was just normal interference from both players.

“I love playing in my home country and in front of the audience here. You get a lot of support here and I feel like I’m just practicing – driving to the venue and then going back home, so I feel like it’s just practice and not a tournament.”

[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 4-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9 (68m)

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