Gawad in Seventh Heaven in Pittsburgh

Gawad trophy main

Article courtesy of the Professional Squash Association.

Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad notched up the seventh—and biggest—PSA World Tour title of his career when he defeated top seed Alister Walker, the defending champion, in the final of the Three Rivers Capital Pittsburgh Open, the PSA International 25 squash event at Rivers Club in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“The match was spectacular—perhaps the best match we have had in recent years,” reported tournament director Steve Baicker-McKee of the climax of the fifth tournament of the 2014 U.S. Pro Squash Series. “The crowd literally gasped and oohed and aahed repeatedly!”

An error-strewn opening game saw Walker, the world No. 19 from Botswana, take a first game lead. After second seed Gawad raced to an early lead in the second, Walker fought back to draw level—but was unable to stop underdog Gawad drawing level.

Buoyed by this success, the Egyptian raced to an 8-0 lead in the third and soon closed it out to move ahead.

Gawad action“Game four was a real battle, as both players knew the championship was on the line,” Baicker-McKee continued. “The game went back and forth, with neither player managing to get ahead by more than two points. Gawad got the first game (and match) ball at 10-9, but took a high backhand into the top of the tin.

“Walker then scored two straight to go up 11-10, but Gawad took a backhand short into the front left corner, and earned a no-let call. The players then competed fiercely for court space, with a series of lets the result, but Gawad finally closed out the match to add his name to Walker’s on the tournament trophy.”

Gawad, who moved to seventeen in the latest PSA World Rankings, was delighted with his 5-11, 11-7, 11-4, 13-11 triumph after eighty-two minutes: “Really happy to win Pittsburgh open against Alister Walker,” tweeted the twenty-two-year-old from Cairo to his followers. “What a wonderful week for me :))”

[2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [1] Alister Walker (BOT) 5-11, 11-7, 11-4, 13-11 (82m)