Leo Au Sets Record For Longest Ever Match Then Wins Title
27 Jan 2015
Leo Au, the world No.33 from Hong Kong, broke the record for the longest professional squash match ever recorded en-route to claiming the eighth PSA World Tour title of his career at the Holtrand Gas City Pro-Am in Canada.
The 24-year-old lifted the trophy following a tough 85-minute battle against Malaysian Muhd Asyraf Azan, coming from 2/1 down to win in a dramatic five-game victory that came less than 24 hours after he won the longest match ever recorded - a mammoth 170-minute semi-final encounter against Shawn Delierre, the world No.54 from Canada.
It was a match that eclipsed the previous record set 32 years ago by Pakistan legend Jahangir Khan, the record ten-time British Open champion who took 166 minutes to get past Gamal Awad in the 1983 Chichester Festival in the era of 'hand-in-hand-out' scoring.
With the fifth game, which went to 16-14, lasting an incredible 78 minutes alone the victory saw Au, who stands at 5ft 4", complete a total of over 300 minutes on court during the four-day tournament - averaging 75-minutes-plus per day as he stormed to the title, earning his place in the annals of sporting history in the process.
"It was a tough week for me because I'm physically and mentally exhausted after the tournament," said Au, who saved one match-ball in the decider.
"I'm really happy to win this match against Shawn. In the fifth game neither of us ever had a big lead, it was 1-1, 2-2, 3-3 and always very tight.
"When we got to the tie-break I don't think anyone could tell who would win in that situation because both of us were tired and we were still pushing hard for each point. Fortunately, I managed to finish the match at 16-14!
"I was physically very tired in the final but I just fought for each point and didn't think much about other things. I'm happy that my fitness lasted until the end and that I was able to stay focused during the match."
PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough said: "The fact that Leo not only won his 170-minute match against Shawn, but then followed it up by winning the final in 85-minutes, with less than 24 hours recovery, is testament to the kind of physical conditioning that is par for the course on the PSA World Tour at present.
"In sports like premier league football, players are lauded for completing two 90-minute matches inside seven days while we are regularly seeing players backing up from 60-minute plus battles on a daily basis at all events, from the Challenger level all the way through to World Series, demonstrating the supreme fitness levels that are required to play squash at the highest standard and the players deserve all the credit for the efforts they put in."