What They Said
What Karim and Abou had to say
I want to compliment Karim on a great final and to tell him that he should have got married a long time ago if he meant playing like that!
I gave it absolutely everything I have no regret, we always have huge battles, today it just didn’t go my way. But I’m happy with my performance, and I’m very proud of the way I played today.
This result gives me an extra motivation for next year, it was fantastic to be able to play in front of my family and friends, that gives me that extra boost for next season;
If I knew this would happen then I would have got married six or seven years ago!
Abouelghar was one of my groomsmen and he gave me a hard time on court, so hard luck to him he played some amazing squash. I’m really happy to win a World Tour Finals and really happy with this title.
Playing Abouelghar is always tough, we have played a few times and they are always tough battles, five setters and four setters minimum. Entering this tournament I wasn’t expecting too much, so I was very relaxed playing and trying to enjoy it as much as I can. Today, I felt the pressure of playing the final, I have played the World No.1 and World No.2 so playing the final I felt the pressure. I tried to relax as much as I could and tried to focus on my squash and I’m glad it worked.
I have a lot of people to thank. Firstly the sponsors and CIB bank for their support and their last 12 months, they have worked hard and given a lot of support at a lot of tournaments. Karim Darwish for organising such a great tournament – all the organisers and sponsors for doing such a great tournament. It’s always great to play tournaments in Egypt, we have six or seven players in the top ten so we deserve to have more tournaments in Egypt here.
Also, I need to thank my coach Omar Abdel Aziz, Dr Few, Ahmed Faragallah my fitness coach, my physio Wafaai, my nutritionist Shady Labib, my family, my dad, my mum and my sister, and of course, my wife, for understanding that we got married on Friday and instead of going on our honeymoon, she had to come and support me, thanks for being there for me.
I feel that each time I get closer to beat her, but then again I don’t. I believe in myself, but it’s just not enough.
Today, after the second game, I just got tired, and didn’t have the strength anymore to get to the ball as quickly as I could, I was just too slow. The arms as well got tired, I couldn’t put as much weight in the ball than I did in the beginning and that made all the difference.
But still, I feel I had a great season, I managed to reach the quarters and the semis of most of my tournaments, and this summer, I’m going to work really hard to try and get a step further.
Maybe some nerves at the beginning of the game, I remember at some point thinking I didn’t want to disappoint my home crowd and family. But after the second game, I just gave it everything I had.
The support from the crowd means a lot, thank you so much to everyone today. I really couldn’t have done it without them, they can me the push that I needed, so thank you to them.
Camille played really well today, she pushed me to the limit and she was just on fire the first two games. It took a lot of effort and mental strength to push myself and comeback from what she did. I still cannot believe I came back from the dead, it was really tough. She was killing me out there.
The game plan she had today was crazy good and I salute her for a great season, she has had an incredible season and so close to winning some things but not quite there, but I’m sure she will come back stronger next season and I told her that after the match. She played really well and deserved to win one title, so next season will be hers maybe.
All day long I was struggling with the idea of maybe having to play three games or even five, but when I was 2-0 down I thought it was best of five for a reason. I just fought and tried to run as much as I can and get everything back to stay in the rally as long as possible. Maybe focus a little bit more and calm down whenever needed and those words in between games really helped.
Now I’m looking forward to some rest. Of course I have a lot of people to thank. First my squash coach, Haitham Effat, who’s been on my side and supporting me all season. My fitness coach Ahmed Faragallah, keeping me fit, my physio Dr. Mohamed Amin, my nutritionist Dr. Hany Wahba, I have never been healthier, thank you… Wadi Degla, and Karim Darwish, I cannot believe what you managed to do in such a short time. I spoke with the players and all of them were very happy to be here, and surprised how well the tournament was organised. Thanks to my sponsor Harrow, CIB and Mr Hussein Abaza, couldn’t have done anything without CIB care and support. My husband, Tarek Momen, he couldn’t get the win this time, but hopefully next time. And finally my parents. Last time you came to see me, I didn’t win, but this time I did…
What Sami Abdel Gawad, Hussein Abaza (CIB), Karim Darwish had to say
Karim’s Dad, Sami Abdel Gawad
This victory is the result of a lot of hard work, of a lot of support and dedication from his mum. It has been a very long way, and I only wish that Squash was in the Olympics, when I see how amazing those athletes are performing, they deserve to be in the Games…
Hussein Abaza, CIB Vice-President
Well, Raneem nearly gave us a heart attack, no seriously, I couldn’t take much more, she nearly killed us, but apart from that, two great matches today, and all week great matches.
It was truly an outstanding event, Karim Darwish did an amazing job getting it together in such a short time and during Ramadan and Eid, fantastic work from all his team….
I am so proud, from my point of view, as a lot of people had a lot of positive comments on the event. There was a very good crowd as well, great atmosphere.
Also, a win of Raneem, our own Wadi Degla hero and our pride, it couldn’t have been a better ending. A huge thank you to our club Wadi Degla for supporting the event, CIB and Mr Hussein Abaza, Marakez and Mall of Arabia who believed in us from the start, Orange, Technogym for offering our athletes the latest gym machines, Uber, Onsport and Red Bull…