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Gawad In Seventh Heaven In Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Open 2014
29 Jan - 03-Feb
Pittsburgh, Usa, $25k
Round One
31 Jan
01 Feb
02 Feb
03 Feb
[1] Alister Walker (Bot)
11-0, 11-2, 11-4 (27m)
[Q] Vinicius Rodrigues (Bra)
Alister Walker
11-9, 11-3, 15-13 (45m)
 Muhd Asyraf Azan
Alister Walker
11-6, 6-11, 11-7,
11-8 (69m)
Olli Tuominen
 Alister Walker
5-11, 11-7, 11-4, 13-11 (82m)
Karim Abdel Gawad
[7] Henrik Mustonen (Fin)
13-11, 6-11, 11-2, 6-11, 11-6 (44m)
Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas)
[8] Cesar Salazar (Mex)
 11-4, 12-10, 11-9 (50m)
Chris Gordon (Usa)
Cesar Salazar
8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (42m)
Olli Tuominen
[4] Olli Tuominen (Fin)
11-5, 9-11, 11-3, 11-5 (50m)
Joel Hinds (Eng)
[Q] Yasir Butt (Pak)
11-6, 11-8, 5-1 rtd
[3] Nicolas Mueller (Sui)
Nicolas Mueller
11-9, 11-4, 11-7 (40m)
  Nafiizwan Adnan
Nicolas Mueller
11-7, 11-8, 6-11,
11-8 (53m)

 Karim Abdel Gawad
[LL] Baba Tunde Ajaqbe (Ngr)
11-5, 11-2, 11-8 (30m)
[6] Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
[Q] Farhan Zaman (Pak)
 9-11, 14-16, 11-5, 11-8, 11-4 (72m)
[5] Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
Ryan Cuskelly
11-9, 11-3, 11-9 (44m)
Karim Abdel Gawad
[Q] Syed Ali Bokhari (Pak)
 8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 12-10 (48m)
[2] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)

RESULTS: PSA International 25 3 Rivers Capital Pittsburgh Open,
Pittsburgh, USA

Gawad In Seventh Heaven In Pittsburgh

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 3 Rivers Capital Pittsburgh Open, the PSA International 25 squash event at Rivers Club in Pittsburgh, USA.

"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 US 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.

"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 17 in the latest PSA World Rankings, was delighted with his 5-11, 11-7, 11-4, 13-11 triumph after 82 minutes: "Really happy to win Pittsburgh open against Alister Walker," tweeted the 22-year-old from Cairo to his followers. "What a wonderful week for me :))"

Walker & Gawad Make Pittsburgh Final

Defending champion Alister Walker will contest the final of the 3 Rivers Capital Pittsburgh Open for the second time when he faces second-seeded Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad in the climax of the PSA World Tour International 25 event - the fifth tournament of the 2014 US Pro Squash Series - at Rivers Club in Pittsburgh, USA.

The World No.19 from Botswana survived a tough test against Tour veteran Olli Tuominen, the 34-year-old former World No.13 from Finland. Honours were shared after the first two games before Walker overcame a brief lead by the fourth-seeded Finn in the third to open a 2/1 lead.

It was nip and tuck in the fourth until eight-all - when top seed Walker ran off three points in a row to clinch his 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8 victory after 69 minutes.

"Playing Olli is always tough both physically and mentally," said US-based Walker afterwards. "Today I managed to get a very good win because Olli has been playing very well lately having followed his scores.

"He is very experienced, ever hungry and a highly-ranked player," added the 31-year-old on the eve of his 16th PSA World Tour final.

Gawad, the 22-year-old second seed is the latest Egyptian to burst into the world top 20 - and demonstrated his prowess in an 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8 victory over third seed Nicolas Mueller, the Swiss number one ranked 28 in the world.

"Niki and I played like twice in the juniors and once on the PSA Tour and I was expecting a very tough battle - and here it was!" said the World No.17 from Cairo later.

"Niki is so talented - I had to keep my eyes open and focus on each of his shots and try to put the ball in the corners," continued Gawad, now in the 12th Tour final of his career. "I'm very happy to win today and looking forward to playing the finals tomorrow."

Walker and Gawad will be marking their second Tour clash - but their first since May 2010 at the Sky Open in Gawad's home city Cairo. Walker beat the then 18-year-old ranked outside the world top 70 in straight games.

"Tomorrow against Gawad will be very tough," said Walker. "He is talented and can rattle off points quickly and things can get away from you if you lose focus for a minute. We played several years ago in Cairo but he has improved considerably since then."

Azan Ousts Mustonen In Pittsburgh Shock

Unseeded Muhd Asyraf Azan doubled Malaysian interest in the quarter-finals of the 3 Rivers Capital Pittsburgh Open when he upset No.7 seed Henrik Mustonen in the PSA World Tour International 25 event - the fifth tournament of the 2014 US Pro Squash Series - at Rivers Club in Pittsburgh, USA.

The 27-year-old from Kuala Lumpur, ranked 35 in the world, defeated Finland's World No.36 Mustonen 13-11, 6-11, 11-2, 6-11, 11-6 in 44 minutes - and will now take on top seed Alister Walker for a place in the semis.

In the quickest match of the day, Botswana's US-based Walker - ranked 19 in the world - despatched Brazilian qualifier Vinicius Rodrigues 11-0, 11-2, 11-4 in just 27 minutes.

Fifth seed Ryan Cuskelly looked like another upset victim after the first two games against qualifier Farhan Zaman. "I came out a little slow, and he was attacking from the start," said the Australian. "I didn't feel too sharp, so I tried to focus on getting my shots tighter and my length better, and he started to make a lot of mistakes."

Left-hander Cuskelly recovered to beat the Pakistani 9-11, 14-16, 11-5, 11-8, 11-4 after 72 minutes and will now line up against second seed Karim Abdel Gawad.

The Egyptian also survived a first round battle against a qualifier from Pakistan - beating Syed Ali Mujtaba Shah Bokhari 8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 12-10.

"I had not played him before and he came out shooting from the start," said the World No.16 from Cairo. "At first, I was shooting with him. Then, when he won the first game, I decided to be more patient and pick my spots."

Tournament director Steve Baicker-McKee was delighted with the opening day of the event: "We had a tremendous first day of the main draw. The standing room only crowd was treated to some high level squash, with most of the seeded players advancing. We are looking forward to some great quarter finals tomorrow."