Gawad claims third Pittsburgh Open title with dominant display
Ehypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad downed England’s Marwan ElShorbagy in straight games to claim the Pittsburgh Open title. The tournament was the top seed’s first since a calf injury he sustained during the Hong Kong Squash Open last November, and was a third Pittsburgh Open title for the dormer World #1.
“I’m feeling great, of course, winning,” said Gawad. “Coming back from an injury, the toughest part is the mental side and in the last week of practice, I wasn’t very satisfied with how I was pushing mentally. I tried my best to change this in the tournament and luckily it worked well.
Top seeds win five game battles to reach final
Top seed Karim Abdel Gawad beat compatriot Youssef Ibrahim in an 80-minute clash to keep his hopes alive of a third Pittsburgh Open title, while second seed Marwan ElShorbagy beat third seed Youssef Soliman in a testing five-game affair in the second semi-final.
“I’m a bit tired of course after a long match, but I’m happy and glad to be in the final here in Pittsburgh,” said Gawad after the match, “I’m looking forward to the final tomorrow. Playing Youssef is always hard, he’s a very talented player, a great mover on court and the way he’s playing, it’s very hard to play against especially for me and for many top players. “Today I had to push mentally until the very last point. I was down 6-4 and 7-6 but I had to push to the last point of the match and I’m glad I managed to win today.
ElShorbagy won a similar see-saw match – although not as dramatic as his all-tie-break quarter-final !
“Another tough one, I’m happy to win. It was quite close. I was lucky to win that second game. I had a couple of game balls, he had a couple of game balls in the third. I played well. I thought I was in control for most of the match. It’s hard to win a point on this court, you have to accept that you have to be patient, you can’t win it on the first, second, third opportunity so you have to be patient.
“Recovery’s really important now, I’m just going to recover, watch a bit of TV and sleep.”
Quarter-Finals : ElShorbagy survives Bonmalais thriller as top seeds make the semis
In a Pittsburgh Open quarter-final that included five tie-breaks, England’s Marwan ElShorbagy came back from the brink as he defeated Sebastien Bonmalais after the Frenchman squandered match balls in the third and fourth games.
ElShorbagy earned his first match ball of the encounter at 10-7 in the decider, but the 30-year-old hit the tin three successive times to drag the match to yet another tie-break before finally taking the win.
“It was tough coming back from two games down, especially as I lost two tie-breaks in the first two games and I felt like I was in control, but he kept coming back,” said ElShorbagy after the encounter, “Every shot I played he kept coming back so I had be patient and calm. “I knew I was doing the right thing, sometimes I was impatient, sometimes I was losing my focus a little bit, but overall I’m happy to come back. It wasn’t easy out there.
Top seed Karim Abdel Gawad continued his Pittsburgh Open campaign with a strong performance over England’s Adrian Waller to set up a semi-final clash with compatriot Youssef Ibrahim who ended the run of unseeded Velavan Senthilkumar.
In the final match of the day third seed Youssef Soliman defeated Switzerland’s Yannick Wilhelmi to set up a semi-final against ElShorbagy.
Round Two : Wilhelmi and Senthilkumar join six seeds in Quarters
Switzerland’s Yannick Wilhelmi survived match balls in the fourth and fifth games to beat Mexico’s Cesar Salazar in a 70-minute encounter at The Pittsburgh Open, progressing to his first quarter-final on the PSA World Tour, where he will meet third seed Youssef Soliman.
“I had a bit of a bad start, he played well, I struggled a bit with his game in the beginning, but the ball got colder and I think that was a bit better for me and I’m just happy I fought through all the games, especially the fourth and fifth tie breaks,” said Wilhelmi after the match.
“It was really good. First of all, Faraz is a really good player. I’ve seen him play recently and he’s been having some really good results so going into the match I was a bit nervous, but at the same time really excited to be here competing. I was just there, enjoying my squash and enjoying myself,” said Senthilkumar.
The Indian will appear in a Silver quarter-final for the first time when he takes on fourth seed Youssef Ibrahim.
Top seeds Karim Abdel Gawad and Marwan ElShorbagy will meet fifth and sixth seeds Adrian Waller and Sebastien Bonmalais for places in the semis.
Round One : Hussein gets revenge as three seeds fall
Egypt’s Aly Hussein avenged his recent loss to Rui Soares as he defeated the Portuguese player in three games on the opening day of the Pittsburgh Open.
“It feels awesome, he just beat me last week, in Detroit, and honestly I didn’t lose to him twice, in two tournaments in a row. I’m really happy with the way I played, I implemented the game plan just as I wanted and it paid off, I stayed tough throughout the three games and managing to win in three feels special.
Three 9/16 sees were beaten Malaysia’s Addeen Idrakie took out home favourite Todd Harrity in a five-game thriller as Velavan Senthilkumar and Yannick Wilhelmi also advanced.