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Karim Abdel Gawad celebrates

Egyptian Open: Gawad Beats Makin to Reach Final

Egypt’s former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad booked his place in the CIB Egyptian Squash Open final after defeating Wales’ World No.12 Joel Makin in straight games in front of the Pyramids in Egypt.

Gawad, who won the title last time a tournament was held in front of the Pyramids, continued to show his strong form in Cairo as he despatched a tough Makin in 51 minutes to book his place in his first final of the season.

Makin, who featuring in his first ever Platinum semi-final, started strongly in the opening two games to make things tough for former World Champion Gawad. However, the quality of the Egyptian shone through in the end as he kept Makin at bay before storming to victory in the third to complete an 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 win.

Gawad will face either World No.1 Ali Farag or New Zealand’s World No.5 Paul Coll in the final.

“You can’t not enjoy playing squash in this venue,” said Gawad afterwards. “Since day one, I have come here and just wanted to give myself another chance to come on court and play.

“It’s nice to see the crowd coming today and supporting me and all the Egyptian players and support the tournament overall. It’s really nice to be here and play in such a nice venue like this.

“Of course there is some pressure playing in your home country. I feel the pressure but at the same time I enjoy being on court. Joel is one of the players who has come up really quick – I remember watching him in Qatar three or four years ago and suddenly he is in the top 15 in the world and beating all the top players.

“Unfortunately, last time we played he had to retire through injury and I was 2-0 down, so I knew today was going to be a tough match for me, I just wanted to play good squash – focus on my length and play some good winners.”

[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Joel Makin (WAL) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 (51m)

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