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Pittsburgh Open 2015
27 Jan - 01 Feb, USA, $25k

01-Feb, Final:

[1] Karim Abdel Gawad
3-1 [4] Alan Clyne
                   11-13, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7

Gawad Repeats:

Karim Gawad joined Thierry Lincou as one of the few players to repeat as winners of the Pittsburgh Open.

The final was a contrast of styles, with Gawad constantly attacking and Alan Clyne rarely initiating the attack but counterattacking whenever Gawad’s drops weren’t perfect.

Clyne won a very closely contested first game, as he was on Gawad’s drops so quickly and his counter drops were so soft that Gawad was often punished for his aggressive play. But thereafter Gawad added more length to his plan and kept Clyne a little more off balance, making Gawad’s drops more effective.

“This match capped a great week of squash,” said Tournament Director Duilio Costa. “Gawad proved himself the champion again, rising to meet every challenge."


Pittsburgh Open 2015
27 Jan - 01 Feb, USA, $25k
Round One
29 Jan
30 Jan
31 Jan
01 Feb
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)
9-11, 14-12, 12-10, 12-10 (83m)
[Q] Ali Farag (Egy)
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad
11-8, 18-16, 11-6 (56m)
[8] Diego Elias
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad

11/9, 11/7, 3/11, 11/8 (47m)

[5] Ryan Cuskelly

[1] Karim Abdel Gawad


 10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9


[4] Alan Clyne

[8] Diego Elias (Per)
11-6, 4-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-6 (75m)
Alfredo Avila (Mex)
[5] Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 (44m)
[Q] Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas)
[5] Ryan Cuskelly
11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 13-11 (81m)
[3] Grégoire Marche
[3] Grégoire Marche (Fra)
6-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-3 (80m)
Campbell Grayson (Nzl)
[wc] Joel Hinds (Eng)
13-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-3 (52m)
[4] Alan Clyne (Sco)
[4] Alan Clyne
6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-7 (73m)
[5] Karim Ali Fathi
[4] Alan Clyne

11/5, 11/4, 8/11, 11/6 (54m)

[Q] Charles Sharpes

Chris Gordon (Usa)
11-7, 12-10, 11-9  (40m)
[5] Karim Ali Fathi (Egy)
[Q] Abdulla Al Tamimi (Qat)
11-5, 5-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-1 (78m)
[7] Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind)
[Q] Abdulla Al Tamimi
5-11, 11-4, 1-11, 12-10, 11-6 (51m)
[Q] Charles Sharpes
[Q] Charles Sharpes (Eng)
 13-11, 11-9, 11-4 (42m)
[2] Alister Walker (Bot)
28-Jan, Qualifying Finals:

Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas) 3-2 Joe Chapman (Bvi)   10-12, 11-8, 0-11, 11-6, 11-5 (63m)
Abdullah Al Tamimi (Qat) 3-0 Dane Sharp (Can)                   14-12, 11-9, 11-9 (39m)
Ali Farag (Egy) 3-1 Ben Coleman (Eng)                           7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-3 (38m)
Charles Sharpes (Eng) 3-1 Mike McCue (Can)                 8-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-3 (37m)

27 Jan Qualifying Round One:

Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas) 3-2 Steven Baicker-Mckee (Usa)  12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 4-11, 11-4
Joe Chapman (Bvi) 3-0 Jeremny Feinstein (Usa)
                                   11-6, 11-8, 11-7
Dane Sharp (Can) 3-2 Babatunde Ajagbe (Ngr)                        
11-9, 11-5, 5-11, 13-11
Abdullah Al Tamimi (Qat) 3-0 Brad Young (Usa)                                  
11-6, 11-4, 11-4
Ben Coleman (Eng) 3-1 Sunil Seth (Guy)                                   
11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7
Ali Farag (Egy) 3-0 George Satler (Usa)
                                              11-5, 11-9, 11-3
Mike McCue (Can) 3-0 Alex Reynolds (Usa)
                                         11-5, 11-3, 11-7
Charles Sharpes (Eng) 3-0  ? Tuthill (Usa)                                          
11-6, 11-4, 11-6
2014 Event |

31-Jan, Semis:
Gawad and Clyne to contest final

Today’s matches saw both seeds advance 3-1, but the two matches were a contrast in style.

In the first match, Karim Abdel Gawad and Ryan Cuskelly both attacked aggressively. “Gawad’s ability to close out points was just a little stronger,” said Tournament Director Duilo Costa. “He was relaxed and confident on the court today.”

After Gawad won two close games, Cuskelly turned up the pressure and mixed good length to the back corners with attacks to the front, and won game three handily.

But returning champion Gawad rattled off five straight points in the fourth game to close out the game from down 6-8.

In the second semi, both players played more conservative squash, with longer rallies and tremendous court coverage.

In the end, Alan Clyne made very few mistakes and squeezed more errors out of Charles Sharpes.

Clyne won  the first two games comfortably. "Sharpes seemed to have figured out a strategy for success in game three,” said Tournament Director Steve Baicker-McKee, “and it looked like Sharpes might be able to pull off a repeat of his come-from-behind victory in the quarterfinals.”

But Clyne regained control, and won game four handily, rattling off the last seven points to advance to the final.

30-Jan, Quarters:

Top seed Karim Abdel Gawad downed world junior champion Diego Elias in straight games - although the second was an extended 18-16 - to reach the semi-finals in Pittsburgh, where the Egyptian will face Australian Ryan Cuskelly, who won the longest match of the day, an 81-minute four-game tussle with third seed Gregoire Marche.

The other semi-final will be between Scotland's Alan Clyne, the fourth seed, who beat Karim Ali Fathi in four games, and English qualifier Charles Sharpes, who followed up his fine first round win with a five-game victory over fellow qualifier Abdulla Al Tamimi.

29-Jan, Round One:
Sharpes takes out second seed in Pittsburgh

Two of the qualifiers made it through to the quarterfinals in the Pittsburgh Open.

In the upset of the day qualifier Charles Sharpes took out number 2 seed Alister Walker 3-0.

“That was the best win of my career,” Sharpes said. “I was very pleased with how I played, and I am thrilled to have beaten the world number 21.”

Sharpes now faces Qatar's Abdulla Al Tamimi, a fellow qualifier who beat Mahesh Mangaonkar in five,

The match that drew the biggest crowd was the first match, featuring top seed Karim Abdel Gawad and Ali Farag. Farag won the first game, and had two game balls in the second to take a two game lead, but Gawad managed to save both and hold on for the game.

“I grew up playing Farag, and we have probably played 30 matches against each other, so we know each others’ games quite well,” Gawad said. "I knew when I saw the draw that I was in for a tough match.”

Diego Elias and Gregoire Marche both survived five game encounters.

28-Jan, Qualifying Finals:

Qualifying is complete in Pittsburgh, with Abdullah Al Tamimi winning in straight games while Ali Farag and Charles Sharpes both came from a game down to qualify.

The most disputed match was between Muhd Asyraf Azan and Joe Chapman - a really patchy match, with lots of interference, lets, strokes, and disputed calls. Azan really lost his focus in the third when he got blanked, but then came back strong and controlled the fourth and fifth games pretty well.

Farag played extremely well, using his length to put Ben Coleman under constant pressure, then got rewarded by drawing top seed Karim Abdel Gawad in the first round.

Al Tamimi versus Dane Sharp was closer than the 3-0 score indicated, with long rallies and great court coverage by both players.



27-Jan, Qualifying Round One:

While there were no real upsets in the first round of the qualifier, local player and tournament organiser Steve Baicker-McKee pushed the number one seeded qualifier Muhd Asyraf Azan to his limits.

After losing the first game in overtime, Baicker-McKee evened it out in game two. Azan bounced back and won game three using a lot of deception, but Baicker-McKee appeared to adjust and won game four handily.

He then went up 3-1 in the decider, with the crowd cheering for the major upset, but Azan’s stronger fitness carried the day, and he finished game the match strongly.

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