POUR MEMOIRE – ICYMI
If you’re younger(er), you may solely know Karim Darwish because the WSF Vice-President, the charismatic Wadi Degla Squash Director – considered one of Cairo’s most prestigious Personal Golf equipment – and likewise because the Coach, you see subsequent to Ali Farag in most of his matches.
World Junior Champion, former World No.1 and winner of 23 PSA World Tour titles, Karim, now 41, retired on the age of 33. He had turned professional in 1999, taking simply two years to interrupt into the World’s High 20 in the beginning of a profession that may see him go on to contest 42 event finals and compete in 500 world tour matches.
“I began enjoying squash on the age of 6, and ever since, squash has been my solely ardour.
WORLD NUMBER ONE
He reached the prime ten for the primary time in 2003, the place he would stay for a mixed 118 months, with the crowning second of his profession coming in January 2009 when, after successful the PSA World Sequence Saudi Worldwide in December, upsetting Amr Shabana, Nick Matthew and Gregory Gaultier en-route to the title, he topped the world rankings for the primary time.
A second he remembers very nicely : “My proudest achievement is once I reached world no 1 after beating Shabana on the Saudi open in 2008, and by staying within the prime 10 for greater than 10 years.”
He additionally held on to the World No.1 rating for 11 months in 2009…
“It was at all times an honour to symbolize my nation within the Groups’ occasions.”
The Darkish Prince additionally represented Egypt in seven successive World Crew Championships since 2001, successful the title twice, together with in 2011 in Paderborn when he upset the chances to defeat James Willstrop within the deciding match to take the title away from prime seeds England.
“My greatest reminiscence is once I received the World groups championship with the Egyptian Crew in Germany in 2011, being the Crew Captain” recollects the Wadi Degla spearhead.
“I performed the deciding match within the ultimate towards James, and I received that match in 4. I bear in mind I hadn’t overwhelmed James for a few years earlier than that match, and no one was anticipating me to win, however I gave every thing and possibly performed one of the best squash of my life” he smiles, concluding, “It was at all times an honour to symbolize my nation within the Groups’ occasions.”
However it wasn’t at all times simple. I bear in mind a defeat towards Wael El Hindi within the ultimate of the Petroleum in 2008, it was a really heat August evening, and I can nonetheless see the despair operating down Karim’s face at the hours of darkness behind the glasscourt erected for the event proper subsequent to the Petroleum Sky Membership – considered one of former President Moubarak’s most popular locations.
However it’s not that defeat that stung essentially the most in Karim’s reminiscence. However it’s towards the identical opponent throughout my first ever go to in Egypt, two years earlier than that, in 2006.
He explains : “My worst ever reminiscence is once I misplaced to Wael on the Ahram Championship first spherical, though I’ve by no means been coaching that arduous earlier than that occasion, and I bought chopped by him in three. It was positively my worst reminiscence ever.”
Now a proud husband (Engy Kheirallah, former world quantity 11, who received the World Groups with Egypt each as participant and coach, will you please) and father (one boy and twin women), he really looks like Edit Piaf that “non, rien de rien, je ne regrette rien”
“I can’t recall that I’ve regretted something, however I do errors like every human being, and I study so much from my errors.”, a message he passes on to his gamers, after all.
And “le mot de la fin”, Karim, how do you wish to be remembered?
“I would like folks to do not forget that I used to be disciplined on and off court docket, a fighter on court docket, and my drop shot forehand, after all 😁.”