Former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad disposed of ‘Colombian Cannonball’ Miguel Rodriguez to reach round two of the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family – despite receiving treatment on a nosebleed after the opening game.
The Egyptian dictated the tempo of the match as he won 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 in 47 minutes, with some smart play and fine touches at the front of the court unsettling Rodriguez, who was sporting a new peroxide blonde look.
Gawad had won two of their three previous meetings on the PSA World Tour, with both of those victories going all the way to five games, although it was the first time they were playing since 2015.
For his part, Rodriguez displayed some nice holds and his usual electric athleticism was on display, but he was unable to put many points on the board as the Egyptian closed out the victory in straight games.
“Miguel is always tough to play, we played last time in 2015 and I watched some of our old matches and I noticed how tough he is,” Gawad said.
“I really enjoy watching him play, he’s a fun guy on court and he’s very fit. He’s one of the coolest guys on tour so you always expect cool stuff from him. I really like it [Rodriguez’s new look], I like it on him, it’s his character and we all love him like this.”
Gawad also had his say on the blood injury ruling, which states that if blood from the same injury is visible again after treatment and play has resumed, then the injured player must concede the game.
“It’s a bit frustrating for me and the opponent,” he said.
“I think this rule has to change because when we stop like this it’s bad for me and him. To enjoy playing and keep going is the best thing to do.”
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Miguel Rodriguez (COL) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 (47m)