R3: Karim needs to lose to win….

[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 2-0 [8] Simon Rösner (GER)  13-11, 11-8 (41m)

“I just try and enjoy every second, and see where it gets me” smiled the Egyptian at the end, back from the brink… Karim truly is one of a kind. He needs to feel in real danger to start producing the good and play his magical squash.

Today, it was a do or die match for both and Simon started beautifully well. Moving superbly, attacking smoothly, the German zoomed to 6/1 then 8/3. Karim seemed to wake up a bit, forced a couple of errors out of Simon’s, and managed somehow to come back to 9/9.

He got a first game ball, Simon saved it at the back of a sublime rally, 10/10. He got a game ball of his own that he couldn’t transform, and it’s finally the Egyptian that takes the crucial opener, 13/11 in 25m.

The second is a bit of a seesaw one, 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, 5/5, 7/7. Rallies intense, incredibly fast pace, reflexes and volleying at will…  What a squash people. Simon 8/7, but he looks a bit tired and will tin the next four points, to the delight of the Egyptian crowd.

“It feels great reaching a semi-final here, especially after a slow start against Diego.

“It always makes the next rounds much more difficult, when you play you are much more stressed compared to if you had of won the first match. Today was a very tough match against Simon, we are used to playing very tough matches, so I’m pleased to be through in two today.

“I’m trying to enjoy the tournament as much as I can and I have a very good record here in Cairo, but that doesn’t mean I’ll win all the tournaments. I just try to enjoy the crowd and I like to play on this court, especially in Cairo – so I’m just trying to enjoy the tournament and not worry about anything else.

“My family have been through this now for years and years. I feel bad, but this feeling they have, I will never feel it until I have kids.”