Despite taking a 2-0 lead in the first round of the Wadi Dagla World Championships, Gloucestershire’s own Nathan Lake was unable to secure what would have been a shock result against fourth seed Karim Abdel Gawad.
Having taken the first two sets 11-9, Lake was unable to clinch the third as favourite Gawad won the last three sets 11-7, 11-3, 11-6.
Gawad’s aforementioned quality has been further evidenced by his run to the quarter finals, where he is due to face Lake’s fellow Englishman Nick Matthew.
Indeed, the fact that Lake ran Gawad so close is a further indication about how far he has come in the previous 18 months.
Currently ranked number 74 in the world, Lake was ranked as low as 179 at the start of last year and the 24-year-old alluded to the reasons behind his rise up the rankings.
“I had a lot of injuries a couple years ago, but I’ve managed to stay injury free and so I’ve been able to get a good stab at trying to improve all areas.
“With the rankings, it’s a tricky one. You don’t want to think about it too much but if you work at it, it’ll take care of itself. But it’s nice to see it go down so much.”
The World Open was Lake’s second in his career, having competed in Seattle last year, but the Cairo-based tournament was the first in which he had managed to qualify for the first round.
Lake added: “The top 120 players in the world are there, with the top 64 are guaranteed an automatic place in the first round.
“I’m just outside of that so I had to qualify, but I’m pleased with my efforts overall.”
Cairo and Seattle are just two of the international cities that the world number 74 has been and will be going. Lake’s role as a professional squash player has seen him compete in places far and wide, including Armenia, Macau, Qatar, India, Canada and South Africa.
Lake’s next international foray will take him to Islamabad, Pakistan as he competes in the Pakistan Air Force CAS International Squash Championship, where he will be ranked number eight.