Peru’s Diego Elias announced his return to the PSA World Tour in the best way possible, as he got the better of Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad, coming from behind to win in a deciding third game.
The Egyptian came to his home country off the back of some great performances at the Manchester Open last week, where he reached the final, whereas Elias was making his first appearance on the Tour since the St. James’s Place Canary Wharf Classic, more than six months ago.
It showed in the first game, as the lengthier rallies seemed to suit the usually slow-starting ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’. It was the Egyptian that took the opening salvo 11-9, but from there, it all unravelled for the former World No.1 and World Champion.
Following the start of the second game, the match became disjointed, with plenty of decisions stopping the flow of the match. This helped the ‘Peruvian Puma’ fight his way back into it, and he was the more comfortable of the two for the rest of the contest.
He only allowed Gawad to score eight points across the second and third games combined, earning himself a surprise victory in his first group game, and putting himself in a great position to qualify for the knockout stages come the end of the week.
“I am really happy to be back on court. It has been a long time since I last played a tournament and it is great to be back. I am feeling pretty good and I knew after all the training I had a chance today, so I was confident,” Elias admitted.
“The people who know me know that I do that. I got a bit tired at one point. He plays really fast and covers a lot of angle, so I had to take some time to recover to be ready.
“I am feeling good. I am not the kid I was before, now I am ready to win tournaments. I trained really hard for this. I am confident and I want to win as many matches as possible.”
 Diego Elias (PER) bt  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 2-1: 9-11, 11-3, 11-5 (55m)