QF: Gawad 3-0 Marwan ElShorbagy

[2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-0 [6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 11-7, 11-6, 11-4 (32m)

A masterclass.

I have no other way to describe the match. It’s not like Marwan did anything wrong – 3 errors in game one, that’s it. But he mentioned yesterday that he had trouble backing up events. It might have been a factor tonight. But when Karim is in the zone, like he was today, very few players in the world could beat him. Maybe none.

11 m first game, 3/1 for Marwan, but from 5/5, it’s all about Karim, 9/5, 10/6, 11/7, with short and blasting with nicks rallies. The four corners were kept busy, and both moved particularly well, but Karim just found some sublime winners at the business end of the game.

The second is dominated from the start by the former world champion, 4/1, 6/3, 10/5 and 11/6, 12m of superb fast squash, with no errors from Marwan as I mentioned and one from Karim.

Marwan worked hard to score a few points, 7/0 8/1 for Karim, 11/4 in 6m… Like I said, Karim, just too good tonight.

Today, I felt mentally stronger, I guess because I knew how dangerous Marwan is. I’m really trying to work on that section of my game.

Marwan is hungry, he came back very strong and is playing the best squash, he reached the semis of the worlds last week, so I knew I had to be on my toes the whole match, and be focused on every single shot. So I prepared for this match the whole day, and I had to play my best squash.

Of course, I had a game plan, several actually, because Marwan has got the ability to change his game, so you have to be prepared to change yours. I was trying as much as I could to play straight lines, not to rush to the front too soon, not to play short until I had the perfect opportunity and he was behind me.

Marwan is a very tough opponent and he has the ability to come back any time, so even though I was leading four or five points in each game I knew he had the ability to come back.

I’m happy today with my basic game and my overall squash….