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Karim Abdel Gawad celebrates his victory

Tournament of Champions RD3: Gawad Through to Quarter Finals

Egypt’s former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad came from a game down against World No.27 Declan James to book his place in the quarter finals of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions taking place inside New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

The two players faced each other just two weeks ago when Egypt met England in the final of the WSF Men’s World Team Championship as they played out an enthralling match which went all the way to five before Gawad converted on the tie-break.

Today looked as though it had the makings to be another test for the Egyptian as James took the opening game. However, the tall Englishman could not sustain the pressure and looked increasingly fatigued as Gawad powered to a 6-11, 11-5, 11-1, 11-3 finish.

“I’m used to being 1-0 down, sometimes I find myself 2-0 down,” said Gawad afterwards.

“It’s not easy of course and I don’t feel good on court when I’m 1-0 or 2-0 down, it is something that makes me push more towards the end of a match. Declan is a very tough opponent and you can see the ball control he has. He has some unique tactics and we always play tough games that go to five.

“We played just the other week at the Men’s World Teams and I won 12-10 in the fifth, so he is not an easy opponent and I’m glad I won in four today.

“Every time we play, he is the player that controls the ‘T’ more, he puts me out of position a lot and it feels hard to play against him. I had to think a lot and before the match my coach said I have to control the middle more and start with a good basic game and that was the turning point of the match today that I controlled the ‘T’ more.”

[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Declan James (ENG) 3-1: 6-11, 11-5, 11-1, 11-3 (43m)

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