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Karim Abdel Gawad in action against Paul Coll

Channel VAS SF: Gawad Masterclass sees him secure Final place

Egypt’s World No.4 Karim Abdel Gawad will face compatriot Mohamed ElShorbagy in the final of the Channel VAS Championships at St. George’s Hill after he overcame New Zealand’s World No.5 Paul Coll in Weybridge, England.

2016 champion Coll was pushed to five-games in a marathon 87-minute match against Wales’ World No.12 Joel Makin yesterday, while Gawad eased to victory in 32 minutes against World No.10 Marwan ElShorbagy and the minutes looked to have taken their toll on the Kiwi who struggled to find an answer against an in form Gawad.

The Egyptian produced a masterclass performance with his sublime touch and skills taking centre stage and setting him up for showdown with familiar rival ElShorbagy in his second final of the season after lifting the CIB Egyptian Squash Open title at the start of this month.

“I just tried to be as patient as I could, when you play your best squash you don’t have to do too much because you can force some errors,” said Gawad afterwards.

“I just want to congratulate Paul for such a great achievement last week in the Worlds and to play tournament after tournament is very tough on the body, so to be able to compete here and play a 90-minute match like he did yesterday shows how athletic he is. He is very professional and very good physically and at his squash tactics and everything.

“This court, although pretty warm, seems to suit my game very well. Last year, I played well as well, I beat Saurav [Ghosal] and Lucas [Serme] 3-0, so in a strange way, I like that court. Maybe also because in Egypt, most of our courts are warm, we are just used to it.

“I have been playing very good squash recently, at the US Open, even if I didn’t win it, I was happy with my game, and in Cairo, I really played some good squash. In the Worlds, I was pretty tired from the Egyptian Open, and somehow, I felt a lot of pressure there.

“I am playing with no expectation other than playing my best squash, not thinking about losing or wining, really, no pressure and that makes all the difference.”

[2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [3] Paul Coll (NZL) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 11-3 (45m)

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