Pittsburgh 2024


[1] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-0 [2] Marwan Elshorbagy (ENG)  11-3, 11-8, 11-9 (33m)

World No.6 Karim Abdel Gawad downed England’s Marwan ElShorbagy in straight games to claim the Pittsburgh Open title. It was the top seed’s first tournament since a calf injury he sustained during the Hong Kong Squash Open in November 2023.

The match presented an opportunity for Gawad to earn his third Pittsburgh Open title after successful campaigns in 2014 and 2015. For ElShorbagy, it was a chance to claim the title for a first time after losing the 2023 final to Diego Elias.

While both semi-finals saw long, arduous rallies to score points, the first game of the final saw the opposite, as every attempted winner seemed effective for the Egyptian.

Gawad looked strong in the early stages and ElShorbagy appeared slightly behind the pace of the match, perhaps due to playing 153 minutes of squash over the course of his quarter-final and semi-final matches.

The Egyptian took a 1-0 lead in emphatic fashion, capping the game off with an awkward cross-court to force the error from his opponent.

The ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’ looked less energetic as he came out for game two, hitting the tin twice in quick succession to help the World No.10 to a 3-1 lead, but the Egyptian soon regained his form as he pushed on, hitting four consecutive points shortly after to earn a narrow 6-4 advantage.

The ‘Jackal’ fought back to 8-8, with the improvement in form visible in a deceptive hold before a quick backhand drive to make it 7-8.  The 32-year-old wouldn’t allow ElShorbagy any more chances in the second game as he secured a 2-0 advantage with three quick-fire points.

From 4-4 in the third game, Gawad maintained a slim lead for the rest of game despite a committed response from the 30-year-old to 9-10 and the former World No.1 claimed the title with a pin-point accurate backhand drop on championship ball.

I’m feeling great, of course, winning,” said Gawad after the match. “Coming back from an injury, the toughest part is the mental side and in the last week of practice, I wasn’t very satisfied with how I was pushing mentally. I tried my best to change this in the tournament and luckily it worked well.

“I tried to push as much as possible mentally and yesterday, I was up and down in the games. When I was three up in the second game I dropped mentally and lost the game so I tried my best today. Marwan is very talented in coming back and winning points quickly so today I tried my best not to give him that chance.

“I tried to push mentally and physically from the very first point. Since I woke up I knew I had to give it 100% mentally and my warming up and everything was different today. I just tried to win the first game by any means.

When asked about ElShorbagy’s tiring route to the final, Gawad said:

“Of course, it takes from your body. Especially playing on a traditional court is harder to win the points and it’s harder to move on court for too long. For him, he had two hard matches. I had a tough match yesterday and being the first tournament since the end of November, it’s hard because no matter how hard your training is, the pressure of the matches is different. It makes you get stiffer quicker and for me it was hard but tonight I tried my best.”


[1] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-2 [4] Youssef Ibrahim  11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-8 (80m)
[2] Marwan Elshorbagy (ENG) 3-2 [3] Youssef Soliman 5-11, 14-12, 12-10, 8-11, 11-2 (74m)


[4] Youssef Ibrahim 3-0 Velavan Senthilkumar (IND)  11-2, 11-4, 11-8 (30m)
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-0 [5] Adrian Waller (ENG)  11-9, 11-9, 11-8 (31m)
[3] Youssef Soliman 3-0 Yannick Wilhelmi (SUI)  11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (36m)

Round Two

[4] Youssef Ibrahim 3-2 Andrew Douglas (USA) 11-7, 9-11, 14-12, 8-11, 11-7 (58m)
[1] Karim Abdel Gawad 3-0 George Parker (ENG)  11-6, 11-5, 11-9 (30m)
[2] Marwan Elshorbagy (ENG) 3-0 Aly Hussein  11-9, 11-7, 11-7 (32m)
[3] Youssef Soliman 3-0 Simon Herbert (ENG)  11-5, 11-3, 11-3 (29m)

Round One

George Parker (ENG) 3-0 Ibrahim Elkabbani  11-5, 11-4, 11-9 (31m)
Aly Hussein 3-0 Rui Soares (POR) 17-15, 11-6, 11-8 (65m)
Simon Herbert (ENG) 3-0 [WC] Asser Ibrahim  11-5, 11-6, 11-9 (28m)

Hussein Gets Payback In Soares Rematch On Opening Day

Egypt’s Aly Hussein avenged his recent loss to Rui Soares by defeating the Portuguese player in three games on the opening day of the Pittsburgh Open 2024.

Hussein, defeated by World No.58 at the Motor City Open exactly seven days ago, couldn’t be separated from Soares in the first game. The pair stayed within two points of each other for all but one point of the opener.

In an opening game marred by 15 separate refereeing decisions, Soares earned himself the first game ball. Hussein got the better of a counter-drop battle and had Soares on his heels after a well-timed cross-court shot, eventually levelling the score with a backhand drop.

From there, Soares saw the lion’s share of the game balls, but the two were still inseparable to 15-15. A well-disguised straight drive caught Soares out to give the Egyptian a chance to claim the colossal first game, and quick trickle boast earned Hussein a hard-fought 1-0 lead.

From there, Hussein looked to be in command of the encounter, claiming the second game 11-6. Soares rallied in the final game, but Hussein ultimately proved too strong and finished his Motor City Open redemption by forcing a mistake from the World No.58 with a tight squeeze along the right wall to win the third game 11-8 and claim his place in tomorrow’s second round.

After the match, Hussein said: “It feels awesome, he just beat me last week, in Detroit, and honestly I didn’t lose to him twice, in two tournaments in a row. “I’m really happy with the way I played, I implemented the game plan just as I wanted and it payed off, I stayed tough throughout the three games and managing to win in three feels special.

“I was really getting on annoyed at myself for not getting any game balls, he was just getting all the game balls and I was trying to equalise. I think I played well as soon as I got the chance to go a game ball up and I managed to convert.

“I’m just going to go in and have fun; I have nothing to lose,” said Hussein on his upcoming match with No.2 seed Marwan ElShorbagy. “Marwan is a really good friend of mine, I love him so much so I’m just going to enjoy my time and hopefully play well, maybe win. We’ll see how that goes.”

Draw: Pittsburgh Open RD2

16:15 [8] Faraz Khan (USA) v Velavan Senthilkumar (IND)
17:00 Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) v [5] Adrian Waller (ENG)
17:45 [6] Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) v Addeen Idrakie (MAS)
18:30 Yannick Wilhelmi (SUI) v [7] Cesar Salazar (MEX)