Egypt’s World No.3 Karim Abdel Gawad has already achieved some of the biggest accolades the sport has to offer, but the former World Champion admits his biggest aim for this season was consistency.
And after claiming two titles in the form of the CIB Egyptian Squash Open and the Channel VAS Championships at St. George's Hill, the former World No.1 feels that he has created a good foundation and is keen to reach even more finals.
“I would rank my season as an eight out of 10,” said Gawad.
“Not only because I won two tournaments, but also I think I played some good squash. I am trying to be consistent and I think I am doing a good job being more consistent, I just believe I have to appear in the finals more and that’s what I am working on.
“I normally talk with my coaches before every pre-season and I tell them what I hope to achieve, what I also felt went wrong in the previous one and what I want to try to work on.
“I can’t say I achieved what I wanted to achieve this season, but I didn’t do bad though. My biggest disappointment this season my early loss in the World Championships, of course I was hoping to do much better.”
One of Gawad’s crowning moments of the season came in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza, where he repeated his feat for impressing in front of the spectacular location by adding to his 2016 Al Ahram victory with the CIB Egyptian Squash Open Platinum title when he defeated then-World No.1 Ali Farag in the final.
Karim Abdel Gawad at the CIB Egyptian Squash Open
“The Pyramids is one of the most prestigious tournaments that I am proud and lucky to have the opportunity to participate in.
“I have great memories in this tournament and it’s the reason why I am here now. I remember going and watching Ahmed Barada and Amr Shabana when I was a kid and all I wanted was to go on court and just to hit one shot, so to win two titles in front of the Pyramids is just great and something I am extremely proud of.”
However, the 28-year-old believes he played his best squash at the Channel VAS Championships where he and Mohamed ElShorbagy brought the house down in a thrilling five-game final which lasted a gruelling 90 minutes.
“At Channel Vas I think I played my best squash. I performed well on court and Mohamed and I had such an entertaining final.
Gawad in action against Mohamed ElShorbagy
“It’s one of the matches where I can say we brought the best of each other.”
Due to the unexpected break in the season due to COVID-19, Gawad explained his hobbies outside of squash and also his aims during this unpredictable time as he waits for professional squash to get back under way.
“I like traveling and spending some time by the beach. I also like soccer, but I don’t actually play that much trying to avoid injuries and my new hobby is paddle tennis.
“My main goal in the extended break is just to try to keep as fit as possible.”