Gawad Retains Pittsburgh Open Title

Tournament Director Duilio Costa, Karim Gawad, Tournament Director Steven Baicker-Mckee
Tournament Director Duilio Costa, Karim Gawad, Tournament Director Steven Baicker-Mckee

Report courtesy of the Professional Squash Association.

Egyptian World No. 20 Karim Abdel Gawad ensured the U.S. Pro Series Pittsburgh Open title remained in his grasp for the second consecutive year following an impressive 3-1 win over number four seed Alan Clyne in the finale of the first PSA International 25 event of 2015 at the Rivers Club in Pennsylvania.

Gawad, the twenty-three-year-old from Alexandria, was a surprise victor in 2014 when he beat then top seed Alister Walker in the final but he went into the 2015 edition as firm favorite and put in an impressive performance against Clyne, the Scottish World No. 36, to take the spoils.

It was the Scotsman who got off to the better start in the title-decider, taking the opening game courtesy of a tie-break, but Gawad dug in and reversed his fortunes to take the second game and level the match. From then on Gawad’s style won out and he took advantage of a tiring Clyne in the final game to earn his ninth PSA World Tour title.

Clyne had to overcome tournament surprise package Charles Sharpes to book his place in the finale after the twenty-two-year-old English World No. 69 belied his ranking with some superb performances, notably taking out number two seed Alister Walker in the tournament’s opening round before defeating fellow qualifier Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi, who had shocked number seven seed Mahesh Mangaonkar, in the quarterfinals to set up his semifinal with Clyne.

“This match capped a great week of squash,” said Tournament Director Duilio Costa. “Gawad proved himself the champion again, rising to meet every challenge.”

[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [6] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-1: 11-9, 11-7, 3-11, 11-8 (47m)
[4] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt [Q] Charles Sharpes (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 11-4, 8-11, 11-6 (54m)

[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [4] Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-1: 11-13, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7