Egyptian ace is close to the top of the PSA pyramid
By NATHAN CLARKE in Cairo and ALAN THATCHER
In-form Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad has moved up to a career-high World No.3 ranking after the PSA Men’s World Rankings were released today (November 1st).
The 25-year-old, who hails from Giza, defeated defending champion Gregory Gaultier en route to the semi-finals of last month’s Delaware Investments U.S. Open.
It was the latest chapter of an impressive season that has so far seen Gawad reach a maiden World Series final at the Hong Kong Open and win the Al Ahram Open on home soil in front of the iconic Great Pyramid of Giza.
He told Squash Mad in a recent interview that it was a “dream come true” to win an iconic tournament that he had watched as a child. Expect many more such successes as this talented player, once regarded as a fragile competitor by some rivals, shows the skills and enormous physical and emotional strength to compete at the highest level.
Gawad leapfrogs compatriot Omar Mosaad, who drops down to No.4, while Mohamed ElShorbagy extends his lead at the summit of the World Rankings ahead of World No.2 Gregory Gaultier after capturing the U.S. Open crown.
The man he beat in the final, three-time World Champion Nick Matthew, stays at No.5, while Egyptian duo Ali Farag and Marwan ElShorbagy sit at No.6 and No.7, respectively.
‘Colombian Cannonball’ Miguel Angel Rodriguez moves back into the top 10 after a solitary month outside to No.8 while Tarek Momen and Hong Kong Open winner Ramy Ashour complete a seven-strong Egyptian presence inside the top 10.
After an impressive month in which he reached the final of the NetSuite Open and a first World Series semi-final in two years at the U.S. Open, England’s former World No.1 James Willstrop is the biggest mover inside the top 20, jumping up eight places to No.11.
Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet drops two spots to No.12 while Simon Rösner, Cameron Pilley, Borja Golan and Ryan Cuskelly also fall to No.13, No.14, No.15 and No.16, respectively.
Meanwhile, England’s Chris Simpson returns to the world’s top 20 for the first time since April 2014 and currently sits at a joint career-best World No.20 ranking.
Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com) courtesy of the PSA