Thursday, November 30, 2023

Malaysia Squash Cup: Double Egyptian title success

Egyptian duo Karim Abdel Gawad and Nour El Tayeb became Malaysia Squash Cup champions after they claimed respective wins over men’s top seed Mostafa Asal and women’s No.5 seed Rachel Arnold in Seremban.

Gawad  won the 27th PSA title of his career – and his second of the 2023-24 season – after playing some mesmerising squash to oust World No.5 Asal by an 11-8, 12-10, 11-5 scoreline.

Asal enjoyed early leads in each game, but Gawad was always able to move through the gears and unleash his trademark racket skills to secure the victory. It marks the first time since 2018 that Gawad has won back-to-back titles on the PSA World Tour following his triumph at last month’s Grasshopper Cup.

“I feel great, winning another title back-to-back and having such a good performance makes me very happy,” said Gawad.

“The way I perform, the way I move on court, the way I play squash is just very enjoyable for myself right now and hopefully for everyone [watching].

“Playing Mostafa is very hard, but I was looking forward to this match. We’ve played twice before, once when he was still coming up as a young player, and the second time was during my injury phase. I wasn’t playing my best squash then, so I was looking forward to this match.”

El Tayeb, the No.1 seed in the women’s tournament, has captured the 15th PSA title of her career after she stormed to an 11-2, 11-4, 11-4 victory over Arnold in just 19 minutes.

World No.39 Arnold had the home crowd behind her but was sporting heavy strapping on her right leg after fighting through two five-game matches to reach the final. She never really got going and El Tayeb took full advantage to seal the PSA World Tour Bronze title.

Nour El Tayeb - Squash

Like Gawad, it’s El Tayeb’s second title of the season after her South Western Open win last month.

“I think I’ve been playing well all week, so it’s nice to play well today,” said El Tayeb afterwards.

“I could tell Rachel [Arnold] wan’t moving well, maybe she’s struggling from the long week. I’m sorry for her but I’m happy that I won.

“It gives me a lot of confidence in my ability, every opponent was different this week and every match was different. I’m glad I was able to back up match after match.”

Results – Men’s Final: 2023 Ace Malaysia Squash Cup

[2] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [1] Mostafa Asal (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 12-10, 11-5 (51m)

Results – Women’s Final: 2023 Ace Malaysia Squash Cup

[1] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [5] Rachel Arnold (MAS) 3-0: 11-2, 11-4, 11-4 (19m)


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