QF: Karim 3-0 Paul

[5] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-0 [2] Paul Coll (NZL) 11-7, 15-13, 11-4 (57m)

I still can’t get over that match, the same way I couldn’t get over last night Tarek’s quarter domination of Diego. It’s like both players turned back the clock to about 4, 5 years ago. What to say about such a fast ridiculous game of squash?

That Karim did to Paul what Shabana used to do to his opponents: take them to the throat and never let go.

That I felt the Kiwi never really got into the match but all credit to him to keep attacking to the front and taking Karim on his own turf.

That Karim twisted and turned Paul throughout, from the first rally to the last.

That I wouldn’t have wanted to ref that one, at Karim was playing the ball extremely early and was putting Paul always on the backfoot, forcing him to push very hard to reach the ball in a correct position.

That Paul didn’t get a single game ball in the second, which by the way, was 30m long…

That Karim’s wife Farah was playing the match with her husband.

That the crowd carried a very laid back/calm/relaxed to the finishing post…

Think that Karim actually was able to win a match against the fittest player of the planet in 3, on a warm court. WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH OUR 5 SETTER KARIM???

The ball is bouncing a lot in the middle, and I felt that strangely, Paul seemed to be slow to move – compared to his usual self I mean. When was the last time Paul was penalised with 3 strokes in a single game?

On the other side of the court, Karim was in the zone, 4/1, 6/3. Paul not having it strings 4 points, 7/7. 4 points later, Karim is leading 1/0, 11/4, 13m.

The second is just ridiculous hard work, 30 forking minutes, and all credit to Paul grit and determination. Led 6/2, 8/4, he clawed back to 9/9. 5 game balls later, Karim is now leading 2/0, 15/13, Paul losing the last two points with two errors.

Paul didn’t really show up in the last game, 10m 11/4. The crowd was chuffed and made it pretty loud and festive… Egypt atmosphere at its best…


“Mentally I was ready. I knew that in order to beat Paul you have to be 100 percent ready mentally and physically and accept you’re going to play a long, basic game with long rallies. And that’s what I was doing today, since the very first point I just tried to play a solid game and when I get the chance to attack, take it.

“In my mind I just wanted to win those first two games because that’s going to make it much easier in the third.

“ I did play an attacking game but the mistake I was doing last time was attacking too much and forcing it. He was taking a very good chance. Today I just wanted to play a good, solid basic game. It doesn’t have to be just over the tin, I wanted to be as tight and patient. I didn’t want to force anything today.

“My main goal when I came back from injury was just to go on court one more time. When I had the chance, I said ‘I’m going to give it 100 percent.’

“Of course I have goals in my mind that I want to achieve; I want to play good squash, win more Platinums and get closer to the top three in the world, top two and top spot for sure.

“I’m working on it every day. Everyone is playing great squash and I just want to focus on myself, improve my squash, fitness and win more Platinum tournaments for sure.”