Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad pulled off the biggest upset of the competition so far as he downed World No.4 Omar Mosaad in the first round of the 2016 Allam British Open to knock the powerful World Championship runner-up out of a PSA World Tour competition at the first hurdle for the first time since January 2014.
Mosaad came into the encounter in the form of his life having reached the final at both the Canary Wharf Classic and Colombia Open in the last six weeks but fell short against a composed Gawad, who played with attacking intent and precision from the start to record his first ever victory over his compatriot.
The opening game was a tense affair form the off with both players testing each other in all corners on the court before Mosaad edged a narrow tie-break 13-11.
Gawad responded in style to level the scoreboards before a crucial third game, which ultimately tipped the balance in favour of the 24-year-old from Giza, went to the wire with both players squandering several game ball opportunities. Gawad eventually took it and pushed ahead in the fourth to take advantage of the tiring legs of 28-year-old Mosaad, who’s exploits in playing 12 matches inside the past month took their toll.
“I’m over the moon to come through today,” said Gawad.
“The last time we played I think I only took about four points from him so when I saw I was playing Omar in the first round I knew it would be tough. He’s played a lot of tournaments recently and has had some good results and been in great form so I’m very happy to win.
“He’s one of the toughest players on tour mentally and physically and I could feel he was tired but I still had to play at my best to make sure I could get the win.
“Beating someone like Omar in the first round makes it feel a little like I’ve already won the tournament already. Beating a player like him is not easy but I need to focus on the second round and push on in the next match.”
Gawad will now play compatriot Fares Dessouki for a place in the quarter-finals.
“Fares is a very dangerous player and a good friend as well. We’ll give it our best and the better player will win.”
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt  Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-1: 11-13, 11-7, 14-12, 11-4 (65m)