Karim Abdel Gawad wins Pittsburgh Open 2024

February 12 2024

Top seed and former World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad produced a masterful performance to defeat 2nd seed Marwan Elshorbagy 11-3 11-8 11-9 in just 33 minutes to win the Pittsburgh Squash Open title.

The final showdown at the Rivers Club in Pittsburgh, presented an enticing prospect for top seeded Egyptian to secure his third Pittsburgh Squash Open title, having previously emerged victorious in 2014 and 2015. Conversely, for Marwan ElShorbagy, it was an opportunity to seize the title for the first time, having fallen short in the 2023 final against Diego Elias.

While the semi-final clashes witnessed gruelling rallies and prolonged exchanges to secure points, the dynamics shifted in the final, with the Karim Abdel Gawad dominating from the outset, leaving ElShorbagy trailing, likely due to the latter's extensive playtime, accumulating 153 minutes of squash across the quarter-final and semi-final matches.

Karim Abdel Gawad swiftly claimed the opening game, culminating with a perfectly executed cross-court shot, inducing an error from his opponent.

Despite a sluggish start to the second game, marked by consecutive errors into the tin, Karim Abdel Gawad swiftly regained the momentum, amassing four consecutive points to establish a narrow lead of 6-4. Although Marwan ElShorbagy staged a resilient comeback, levelling the score at 8-8, his opponent’s unwavering focus proved decisive as he swiftly secured three consecutive points to extend his lead to two games.

Maintaining a slender advantage throughout the third game, Karim Abdel Gawad fended off a spirited resurgence from his English rival, who narrowed the gap to 9-10. However, the former World No.1 sealed his victory with impeccable precision, executing a pinpoint accurate backhand drop shot on championship point.

Professional Squash Association (PSA) Pittsburgh Squash Open 2024
Rivers Club, Pittsburgh, USA
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [2] Marwan Elshorbagy (ENG) 11-3, 11-8, 11-9 (33m)

Top seed Karim Abdel Gawad will face 2nd seed Marwan Elshorbagy in the final of the 2024 Pittsburgh Squash Open following highly competitive semi-finals at the Rivers Club in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Karim Abdel Gawad defeated compatriot Youssef Ibrahim in an 80-minute clash to keep his hopes alive of a third Pittsburgh Squash Open title, while Marwan ElShorbagy defeated No.3 seed Youssef Soliman in an equally testing five-game affair in the second semi-final.

Karim Abdel Gawad triumphed over Youssef Ibrahim in a high-octane clash with the first game witnessing a flurry of aggressive, attacking shots which proved indicative of the rapid pace of their exchanges. The top seed asserted his dominance early on, leaving Youssef Ibrahim visibly frustrated as the former World No.1 surged to a commanding 10-3 lead.

Despite his resilient and managing to stave off three game points, Youssef Ibrahim was unable to prevent Karim Abdel Gawad securing a 1-0 advantage.

The second game started in similar fashion, with Karim Abdel Gawad dictating the pace to establish an 8-3 lead. However, Youssef Ibrahim displayed renewed vigour, adopting a higher attacking position on the court, and employing frequent volleys to mount a remarkable comeback, levelling the score at 8-8. A sequence of expertly executed shots propelled Youssef Ibrahim to claim eight consecutive points, clinching the second game in style.

Undeterred by his opponent's resurgence, Karim Abdel Gawad resurged in the third game, swiftly racing to a 6-2 lead. Although Youssef Ibrahim appeared to find a glimmer of opportunity following a rare miscalculation from his opponent, the latter regained control, closing out the game 11-4 with a precise drop shot.

The fourth game started with Youssef Ibrahim showing flair, executing a behind-the-back shot to secure a point and battling to a narrow 7-6 lead. Despite Youssef Ibrahim maintaining a slender advantage, Karim Abdel Gawad persisted, eventually forcing a tie-break. After a series of tense exchanges, Youssef Ibrahim emerged victorious, claiming the game 12-10 and levelling the match at 2-2.

In the decisive fifth game, the experience of Karim Abdel Gawad proved decisive as he steadily accrued points to secure the game 11-8 to claim a coveted spot in the final.

In the preceding semi-final, England's Marwan ElShorbagy faced off against Youssef Soliman in a gripping encounter. Marwan ElShorbagy started proceedings with a commanding first game, swiftly extending his lead from 5-4 to 11-5.

The second game witnessed the two players trading points before Youssef Soliman manged to level the match at 1-1. An equally contested third game, saw Youssef Soliman claim another tie-break to secure a 2-1 lead.

Marwan ElShorbagy, however, showed his prowess in the subsequent games, swiftly gaining control and delivering a masterful performance to secure a 3-2 victory and seal his place in the final with an impressive display of skill and determination.

Professional Squash Association (PSA) Pittsburgh Squash Open 2024
Rivers Club, Pittsburgh, USA
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [4] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-8 (80m)
[2] Marwan ElShorbagy (ENG) bt [3] Youssef Soliman (EGY) 5-11, 14-12, 12-10, 8-11, 11-2 (74m)

Quarter-Finals day of the Pittsburgh Squash Open witnessed wins for the tournament’s top four seeds Karim Abdel Gawad, Marwan ElShorbagy, Youssef Soliman and Youssef Ibrahim.

[4] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) bt Velavan Senthilkumar (IND) 11-2, 11-4, 11-8 (30m)

In the day's opening match, Youssef Ibrahim secured a spot in his first semi-final of the 2023-24 squash season with a commanding 11-2 11-4 11-8 victory over India's Velavan Senthilkumar.

Velavan Senthilkumar had advanced to the quarter-finals on the back of an impressive upset victory over No.8 seed Faraz Khan of the USA in the previous round. However, the young Indian struggled to find his rhythm against the in-form Youssef Ibrahim, who displayed fast and aggressive squash from the outset.

Youssef Ibrahim directed many of the early rallies towards the backhand of Velavan Senthilkumar, applying pressure and stretching his opponent to claim first game 11-2.

Although Velavan Senthilkumar showed signs of improvement in the second and third games, Youssef Ibrahim maintained his dominance, consistently staying one step ahead of his opponent to secure a commanding straight-games victory.

[2] Marwan ElShorbagy (ENG) bt [6] Sébastien Bonmalais (FRA) 11-13, 10-12, 13-11, 13-11, 12-10 (79m)
Marwan ElShorbagy of England showed remarkable resilience as he staged a stunning comeback to overcome French contender Sebastien Bonmalais, ranked World No.35, in a gripping quarter-final contest.

Their previous encounter at the Singapore Squash Open saw an abrupt end when Sebastien Bonmalais retired due to a thigh injury during the fourth game. However, their showdown in Pittsburgh proved to be a gruelling battle from start to finish.

The intensity was palpable from the outset as both players remained neck and neck, with neither conceding more than a two-point lead throughout the first game. Despite the challenging conditions posed by the hot ball, both players showed impressive control and precision.

Sebastien Bonmalais had the opportunity to seize the first game at 10-9 but faltered with a crucial error, resulting in a tie-break. Subsequently, another mistake from the Frenchman handed Marwan ElShorbagy the advantage, allowing the Englishman to claim the lead in the match.

The closely contested nature of the match persisted into the second game, with neither player able to establish a significant lead until Sebastien Bonmalais eventually closed-out the game on a tie-break.

The third game saw Sebastien Bonmalais establish a 10-9 lead, only to be thwarted by his English opponent, leading to a series of exchanges that ultimately saw the ElShorbagy clinch game to lead 2-1.

As the tension mounted, both players continued to push each other to the limit, with Sebastien Bonmalais eventually edging ahead to force a fifth and deciding game after a thrilling 65-minute battle.

With the match hanging in the balance, Marwan ElShorbagy seized control and earned multiple match balls, demonstrating his composure under pressure. Despite a valiant effort from Sebastien Bonmalais, it was the Englishman who emerged victorious after a gruelling 79-minutes.

[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [5] Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 (31m)
Top seed Karim Abdel Gawad maintained his momentum at the Pittsburgh Squash Open with a commanding performance against England's Adrian Waller.

From the outset, the World No.6 exuded control over the match, swiftly securing the opening game after his opponent faltered with an unforced error, setting the tone for the encounter.

In the second game, Karim Abdel Gawad once again found himself at 10-9, seizing the opportunity with a well-placed shot that caught Adrian Waller off guard, leaving the Englishman unable to react in time.

The No.1 seed wrapped up the quarter-final match in emphatic fashion, delivering a decisive cross-court shot at 10-8 to clinch victory and advance to the semi-finals.

[3] Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Yannick Wilhelmi (SUI) 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (36m)
In the day's final showdown, third seed Youssef Soliman emerged victorious over Switzerland's Yannick Wilhelmi, who had secured his spot in the quarter-finals with a remarkable comeback win against Mexico's Cesar Salazar.

Displaying agility and speed on the court, Youssef Soliman, the World No.12, showed his prowess from the outset, quickly establishing a 10-5 lead in the opening game. With a well-executed shot that forced an error from Yannick Wilhelmi, the Egyptian claimed the first game to assert his dominance.

Soliman's commanding performance persisted into the second game, where he swiftly amassed six game balls. With precision and finesse, the Egyptian capitalised on his first opportunity, leaving Yannick Wilhelmi unable to recover.

Maintaining his momentum, Youssef Soliman carried his form into the third game, where he secured his first match ball. Despite Wilhelmi's valiant efforts to stay in the contest, including a well-placed drop shot at 10-7, the young Swiss player eventually succumbed after hitting the tin with attempted drop shot.

Following impressive victories over higher ranked players Lucas Serme and Cesar Salazar to reach his maiden quarter-final of a PSA World Tour Silver event, Yannick Wilhelmi was eventually denied a place in the semi-finals of the PSA Pittsburgh Squash Open 2024 by 3rd seed Youssef Soliman.

Quarter-Finals day of the Pittsburgh Squash Open witnessed wins for the tournament’s top four seeds Karim Abdel Gawad, Marwan ElShorbagy, Youssef Soliman and Youssef Ibrahim.

Professional Squash Association (PSA) Pittsburgh Squash Open 2024
Rivers Club, Pittsburgh, USA
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [5] Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 (31m)
[4] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) bt Velavan Senthilkumar (IND) 11-2, 11-4, 11-8 (30m)
[3] Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt Yannick Wilhelmi (SUI) 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (36m)
[2] Marwan ElShorbagy (ENG) bt [6] Sébastien Bonmalais (FRA) 11-13, 10-12, 13-11, 13-11, 12-10 (79m)

Yannick Wilhelmi claimed a remarkable 6-11 10-12 11-9 13-11 14-12 victory over 7th seed Cesar Salazar of Mexico in 2nd round to earn a place in the quarter-finals where he will face 3rd seed Youssef Soliman of Egypt.

In another notable upset, India's Velavan Senthilkumar delivered a commanding performance to dispatch home favourite Faraz Khan in a captivating encounter, marking a significant milestone in his burgeoning career as he secured his maiden PSA World Tour Silver-event quarter-final berth, where he will face Youssef Ibrahim.

In other quarter-finals, former World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad will play Adrian Waller of England with 2nd seed Marwan ElShorbagy of England playing 6th seed Sébastien Bonmalais of France.

Professional Squash Association (PSA) Pittsburgh Squash Open 2024
Rivers Club, Pittsburgh, USA
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [5] Adrian Waller (ENG)
[4] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) v Velavan Senthilkumar (IND)
[3] Youssef Soliman (EGY) v Yannick Wilhelmi (SUI)
[2] Marwan ElShorbagy (ENG) v [6] Sébastien Bonmalais (FRA)

2nd Round:
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [9/16] George Parker (ENG) 11-6, 11-5, 11-9 (30m)
[5] Adrian Waller (ENG) bt [9/16] Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) 11-8, 11-6, 11-8 (39m)
Velavan Senthilkumar (IND) bt [8] Faraz Khan (USA) 11-6, 5-11, 11-5, 11-8 (46m)
[4] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) bt [9/16] Andrew Douglas (USA) 11-7, 9-11, 14-12, 8-11, 11-7 (58m)
[3] Youssef Soliman (EGY) bt [9/16] Simon Herbert (ENG) 11-5, 11-3, 11-3 (29m)
Yannick Wilhelmi (SUI) bt [7] Cesar Salazar (MEX) 6-11, 10-12, 11-9, 13-11, 14-12 (70m)
[6] Sébastien Bonmalais (FRA) bt Addeen Idrakie (MAS) 11-2, 11-4, 11-9 (35m)
[2] Marwan ElShorbagy (ENG) bt [9/16] Aly Hussein (EGY) 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 (32m)

Professional Squash Association (PSA) Pittsburgh Squash Open 2024, Rivers Club, Pittsburgh, USA
1st Round:
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bye
[9/16] George Parker (ENG) bt Ibrahim Elkabbani (EGY) 11-5, 11-4, 11-9 (31m)
[9/16] Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) bt Yannik Omlor (GER) 11-5, 11-4, 11-3 (20m)
[5] Adrian Waller (ENG) bye
[8] Faraz Khan (USA) bye
Velavan Senthilkumar (IND) bt [9/16] Ryunosuke Tsukue (JPN) 11-2, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8 (41m)
[9/16] Andrew Douglas (USA) bt Abhay Singh (IND) 11-8, 11-5, 11-2 (25m)
[4] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) bye
[3] Youssef Soliman (EGY) bye
[9/16] Simon Herbert (ENG) bt [WC] Asser Ibrahim (EGY) 11-5, 11-6, 11-9 (28m)
Yannick Wilhelmi (SUI) bt [9/16] Lucas Serme (FRA) 13-11, 11-9, 11-5 (45m)
[7] Cesar Salazar (MEX) bye
[6] Sébastien Bonmalais (FRA) bye
Addeen Idrakie (MAS) bt [9/16] Todd Harrity (USA) 11-6, 8-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9 (79m)
[9/16] Aly Hussein (EGY) v Rui Soares (POR) 17-15, 11-6, 11-8 (65m)
[2] Marwan ElShorbagy (ENG) bye

The opening day of the PSA Pittsburgh Squash Open 2024 being staged at the Rivers Club, Pittsburgh, USA delivered some exhilarating matches.

Egyptian squash player Aly Hussein secured a decisive victory over Portuguese competitor Rui Soares in a thrilling encounter. This triumph marked a redemption for Aly Hussein, who had suffered a defeat at the hands of Rui Soares just seven days prior at the Motor City Squash Open in Detroit.

The initial game was a tense affair, with neither player able to establish a significant lead. Despite Rui Soares gaining an early advantage with a game ball, Aly Hussein showed remarkable resilience to level the score. The game was marked by several contentious refereeing decisions, adding to the intensity on the court, before Aly Hussein produced a well-disguised straight drive and a quick trickle boast to clinch the crucial first game.

Building upon his momentum, Aly Hussein dominated the following game, securing it with a comfortable 11-6 margin. Although Rui Soares mounted a comeback in the final game, his opponent’s superior skills and determination proved insurmountable as the Egyptian won the third game 11-8 to secure his progression to the second round.

In another gripping match, Malaysian player Addeen Idrakie emerged victorious against local favourite Todd Harrity after a five-game battle. Andrew Douglas, another American player to feature in the 1st round, overcame India's Abhay Singh in a swift encounter lasting only 25 minutes. Velavan Senthlikumar of India demonstrated his skill with a commanding victory over Japan's Ryunosuke Tsukue, setting the tone for the action-packed tournament ahead.