2021 Platinum Reports REPORTS

R2: Zahed goes through as injured Gawad retires

R2: [9/16] Zahed Salem (Egy) 3-1 [5] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) 9-11, 11-3, 6-2 rtd (32m)

Struggling to move properly from the second game, 2018 Champion Karim Abdel Gawad retires during the third as Zahed Salem goes through …

Our former World Champion, one of the most charismatic player on the Tour, and certainly one of the cheekiest/loveable ones, still hasn’t sorted his foot injury that has been bothering him for months now.

I was heartbroken to see him unable to even put the foot on the floor in the second game. He went to the back of the court and was very emotional when he came back and after a few points in the third, he had to stop and shake his opponent’s hand.

His wife, seated next to me and worried for him from the word go, was in tears too.

Jzzz, this is truly and utterly devastating as we need characters like Karim. If you haven’t taken a breakfast with him and Tarek, you haven’t lived… We miss you so much Kimo…

Zahed: “I didn’t want to win like that,”

“Karim is a top five player and one of the strongest players I’ve played with. It’s a tough match of course, I’m based in Alexandria and I had heard about his injury, but you don’t know sometimes, he has clever shots and if I’m not focus and I don’t push from the beginning and he finds his game even with his injury then that’s not good for me. I wish him a very quick recovery – we miss him on the Tour.

“I’ve spent the whole day in the room, so I watched a lot of matches and I watched him against Sherbini. He’s back again and I hope I can get through this one. I will give my best and looking forward to it.”