James Willstrop beats Karim Abdel Gawad in Grasshopper Cup quarter-final masterclass

James Willstrop defeated former World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad 11-13 15-13 4-11 11-6 11-7 in a thrilling 80-minute quarter-final at the 2018 Grasshopper Cup being staged in Zurich.

The opening game between the pair, a phenomenally high quality 20 minute affair, saw both players hitting precise lines and countering each other in all four corners. From that point on the quality of play only increased, with Willstrop putting together the sort of squash that accompanied him throughout his spell as World No.1 back in 2012 to hold off Gawad and complete a spectacular triumph.
 
"There were some very loud English people here in the crowd which just enhanced what was already an unbelievable atmosphere in this venue," said Willstrop.
 
"In phases Karim definitely out-did me and I was just trying my best to hang in there. I just had to have confidence in myself and come through it mentally and physically.
 
"He's a former World Champion so it's a great feeling to be playing well and beating a player like him."
 
James Willstrop will today face World No.1 Mohamed  ElShorbagy in the semi-finals of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) M100 World Tour event.
 
Results - Quarter-Finals: 2018 Grasshopper Cup
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [6] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-2: 13-15, 8-11, 19-17, 11-3, 11-9 (90m)
[7] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [4] Simon Rösner (GER) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-5 (34m)
James Willstrop (ENG) bt [3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-2: 11-13, 15-13, 4-11, 11-6, 11-7 (86m)
[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt [5] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8 (51m)
 
Draw - Semi-Finals:
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [7] Ramy Ashour (EGY)
James Willstrop (ENG) v [2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
 
UNSQUASHABLE is committed to developing equipment to be used by the world’s leading players because we believe that engineering equipment for professional competition makes for a better product for the everyday player.
 
James Willstrop uses the UNSQUASHABLE JAMES WILLSTROP AUTOGRAPH racket which is available exclusively from www.unsquashable.com and www.pdhsports.com
 
UNSQUASHABLE sponsored players and brand ambassadors competing on the PSA World Tour are sponsored by AJ Bell, one of the UK’s largest providers of online investment platforms and stockbroker services.