Name: Karim Darwish
Date of Birth: 29th August 1981
World Ranking: 6
World Series Ranking: 5
Birthplace: Giza, Egypt
Residence: Cairo, Egypt
Interests: Listening To Music
Clubs/Teams: Wadi Degla Club,
Biography: Karim Darwish has maintained an unbroken presence in the world top ten since October 2007. But the highlight of the Egyptian’s career came in January 2009 when he topped the Dunlop PSA World Rankings for the first time – thus ending the 33-month reign of his illustrious compatriot Amr Shabana.
The 31-year-old from Cairo, who led Egypt to a long-awaited victory in the 2009 World Team Championships – and played a significant role in their defence of the title two years later in his sixth successive championship appearance since 2001 - has been one of his country's leading players for the last decade.
But, after being largely overshadowed by fellow countrymen Amr Shabana and, more recently Ramy Ashour, Darwish enjoyed a sensational Tour run in 2008, which included six final appearances and title successes in three .... and led to his rise to the top of the world rankings the following year.
It was after upsetting top seed Shabana in the quarter-finals of the 2008 Saudi International in Saudi Arabia that Darwish knew the world number one ranking would be his!
"This is the greatest moment of my career," said Darwish after beating second seed Gregory Gaultier to lift the title.
“I've been working really hard all my life to reach this moment - thank god I should do it in this, the richest tournament ever, and in front of a crowd like this," added the Egyptian who went on to top the rankings for all but one month of 2009.
Two notable PSA World Series title successes in 2011 – at the El Gouna International Open (beating his world-number-one-ranking successor Ramy Ashour in the final) and the long-established Qatar Classic in Doha (including wins over Nick Matthew and national rival Amr Shabana) – saw him hold the world No3 ranking for most of the year.
2012 was marked by a runner-up finish in the Swedish Open in February and a 22nd Tour title triumph at the Macau Open in October, when he held off the challenge of fast-rising compatriot Mohamed El Shorbagy in a five-game final.
But a successful World Series campaign in the year, including semi-final berths in the El Gouna International Open and Hong Kong Open, led Darwish to qualify for the 2012 World Series Finals in London for the fourth time.
And Darwish kicked off his 2013 campaign in powerful style by celebrating the 40th Tour final appearance of his career at the Motor City Open in Detroit.
The celebrations were muted, however, when he had to concede the match to Shabana midway through the second game after pulling a calf muscle.
In December 2007, Darwish married fellow international squash player Engy Kheirallah.
"During tournaments I sometimes get tense, but because she understands the game, she knows exactly how to get me relaxed and focused," said Darwish. "It's nice to have someone close to you who understands what you do and knows what it's like to be in your shoes."
The couple celebrated the birth of son Omar in May 2012.