Gawad Victory Over Elias Leads Day Of Optasia Upsets
23 Mar 2023
2016 World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad is through to his first PSA World Tour Gold event quarter-final of the season after world-number-one-chasing Diego Elias was forced to retire injured in the fourth game of their entertaining encounter at the Optasia Championship at The Wimbledon Club in London.
The match was one of three significant upsets on the day - leaving Welshman Joel Makin as the only seed to progress.
After losing the opening game, Karim Abdel Gawad found his rhythm in front of an adoring crowd in Wimbledon and treated them to unbelievable shots at the front and perfect weight of shot to the back corners to take the following two games and give himself a 2/1 lead against the world No.2.
The score reached 4-0 to the Egyptian in game four but it was brought to a halt as an injury to Elias' leg proved too much for the Peruvian, who forfeited the match.
"Of course, I wish him all the best with the recovery," Gawad said. "Diego has been playing unbelievable squash for the last couple of years.
"He has been improving every month and he is now the world No.2. Any time soon, I think he will be world No.1. I wish him the best for the recovery. At the beginning, I saw the physio going to him between each game but even with the injury, he was still moving very, very well.
"He is a very dangerous player on court. He is a great player on court and a great person off it, so first of all, the best to him for the recovery."
Gawad is now through to face another surprise quarter finalist in the form of Eain Yow Ng. The unseeded Malaysian No.1 built on his victory over England's Patrick Rooney yesterday and defeated world No.8 Victor Crouin, the sixth seed, in four games to take his place in only his second Gold event quarter final.
Unseeded Frenchman Baptiste Masotti also got the better fourth seed Marwan ElShorbagy for the second time this month, while Makin - runner-up at last week's Canary Wharf Classic in London - claimed his predicted place in the Optasia semi-finals after seeing off India's Saurav Ghosal in straight games.