Squash: Egypt's Abdel-Gawad claims Black Ball title

Inas Mazhar , Monday 10 Dec 2018


In an all-Egyptian final, Karim Abdel-Gawad beat fellow countryman Ali Farag 3-1 (11-6, 13-11, 7-11, 11-8) in just 62 minutes to claim the title of the 2018 Black Ball Squash Open.

The $180,500 prize money Black Ball Squash Open is the first major Professional Squash Association (PSA) Platinum tournament to take place in Egypt since the men’s 2016 PSA World Championships.

World No 7Abdel-Gawad who came out on top in a four-game clash with his compatriot Farag, the world No 2.

This is Abdel-Gawad’s first appearance at a PSA Platinum event since the 2017 Tournament of Champions.

Abdel-Gawad has been determined since the beginning of the tournament, displaying his best-ever squash, showing enthusiasm, power, stamina and a serious intention to snatch the title from his opponents, who he beat one after the other over the week.

En route to the final match, the Black Ball champion overpowered and knocked out great champions, including the World No 1 Mohamed ElShorbagy, World No 4 Tarek Momen and finally the World No 2 Farag to take home the title. In addition to the title, the champion Abdel-Gawad also took home over $25,000 in prize money from the PSA Platinum event after he claimed his 20th PSA title.

Farag's loss not only caused him to lose the title, but also the opportunity to take on the number one top slot from world champion Mohamed El-Shorbagi. Had he beat Abdel-Gawad and won the tournament, he would have topped the PSA Squash ranking in January.

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