R3: Karim Abdel Gawad 3-0 Dimitri Steinmann

[5] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) 3-1 Dimitri Steinmann (Sui) “9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9 (66m)

Next Opponent: Diego Elias

The World No.5 wasn’t at the races in the opening game and was the more passive of the two players as Steinmann took full advantage of appearing on the sport’s biggest stage by punishing his opponent, duly taking a one-game lead.

Gawad finally got going in the second as the racket skills and flair that have made him a fan favourite came to the fore. He levelled up the scores before he dragged a rapidly tiring Steinmann into all areas of the court in the third as he took the lead for the first time.

Steinmann, who had a tough 83-minute battle against the higher-ranked Aly Abou Eleinen in the previous round, continued to fight hard and led 7-3 in the fourth, but Gawad’s pressure was telling as he fought back to a 9-8 lead.

There was then a break in play as Gawad took Steinmann’s racket straight in the face when chasing down a shot at the front of the court. Upon his return, Gawad showed no signs that the injury had affected his focus, and he closed out the win to set up a last eight encounter with No.3 seed Diego Elias.

“It was an unfortunate interference, there was nothing in it, I was trying to clear and he was trying to play the ball. Dimitri is one of my best friends on tour, so I know he doesn’t mean anything bad.

“Nowadays in Egypt in the morning it’s very hot and in the evening it’s pretty cold. They’re different conditions playing outdoors in this weather. We’re used to playing inside or outdoors in warmer conditions, but it’s part of the game and we are used to it.

“Diego is in great form and I lost to him the last couple of times. It’s a different tournament and I want to focus on my recovery today and tomorrow, regroup and study Diego.”