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#OnThisDay in 2015 - Au & Delierre Set Record for Longest Ever Match


Today marks two years since Hong Kong’s Leo Au and Canadian Shawn Delierre broke the record for the longest professional squash match ever recorded after their 170-minute epic during the 2015 Holtrand Gas City Pro-Am.

In order to celebrate that phenomenal achievement, we’ve decided to look back to the top five longest professional matches of all time.

2015 Holtrand Gas City Pro-Am – Leo Au (HKG) bt Shawn Delierre (CAN) 3-2: 11-6, 4-11, 11-6, 7-11, 16-14 (170m)

Leo Au and Shawn Delierre’s enthralling encounter in the semi-final of the 2015 Gas City Pro-Am broke new ground for the sport as the record for the longest professional squash match ever recorded was broken.

The Hong Kong star took the first game, before Delierre responded with a strong 11-4 victory in the second.

Au managed to turn the tide in the next game, and built up a head of steam to rise to an 11-6 win. Delierre though showed his incredible fitness levels once again to force Au into a game of attrition, and he pegged back his opponent by earning an 11-7 triumph to take the match into a final game.

The fifth game was spectacular and lasted an incredible 78 minutes. Neither player could claim a big lead in what was a tight affair. It came down to a tie-break, which Au won to claim a 16-14 victory and make history.

Au went on to face Muhd Asyraf Azan in the final, and again had to survive a five-game thriller, eventually defeating the Malaysian to earn his ninth PSA World Tour title. Au, who stands at 5ft 4”, incredibly completed a total of over 300 minutes on court during the four-day tournament, averaging 75 minutes plus per day as he battled to the title.

1983 Chichester Festival – Jahangir Khan (PAK) bt Gamal Awad (EGY) 3-1: 9-10, 9-5, 9-7, 9-2 (166m)

Jahangir Khan

Pakistani legend Jahangir Khan’s epic encounter with Gamal Awad makes the number two spot on this list after the pair’s superb battle in 1983’s Chichester Festival totalled an incredible 166 minutes.

Six-time World Champion Khan met the acrobatic Awad, nicknamed the ‘Grasshopper’, in the midst of a win-streak that had lasted two years up to that point, but it was the Egyptian who took a mammoth opening game 10-9 after some masterful squash from both competitors.

Awad had fought back from 8-1 down in the opening game to win it and the effort of doing so told in the second game as Khan moved into the ascendancy with a 9-5 victory in the second.

The third game was another close affair, with both players’ fitness put to the test as they tried to whittle each other down. It was the masterful Khan though who edged out in front with a hard-fought 9-7 win in the third. Awad’s resistance finally broke in the fourth and final game and Khan marched on to a victory 9-2 to earn success in a remarkable match.

Khan’s winning streak eventually made it to 555 straight matches – a record that will surely never be bettered.

2013 National Capital Open – Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-2: 11-13, 12-10, 14-12, 4-11, 14-12 (157m)

Shawn Delierre

Delierre makes his first appearance on the list, this time against Adrian Waller in a tumultuous National Capital Open final back in 2013. Every rally in the match was closely-contested and the first game set the standard after Waller forced through a 13-11 victory. It took another tie-break to settle the second game with Delierre being the beneficiary this time and taking it 12-10.

The third game lasted an incredibly 44 minutes before Delierre won out, this time with a 14-12 win. The fourth game bucked the trend with Delierre essentially giving up on it to save some energy after Waller had built up an unassailable 9-3 lead, eventually winning it 11-4 to put the match to a final, frenetic game.

Walker rose into a 7-5 lead but two unforced errors left the match in the balance. Delierre gained two match balls at 10-8 up but Waller forced himself back into the match to level things up. Delierre managed to hold his nerve and brought an end to the gladiatorial encounter with a 14-12 success to take home his twelfth PSA World Tour title.

2008 Baltimore Cup – Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt Shahier Razik (CAN) 3-2: 9-11, 8-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-5 (150m)

Delierre takes his third spot within the top five after his titanic all-Canadian tussle with Shahier Razik in the semi-final of the 2008 Baltimore Cup.

The match between the pair was an archetypal war of attrition with long, punishing rallies dictating the theme of the match. There was very little in the games, of which Razik took the opening two.

Delierre needed to stop his compatriot from building momentum and managed to do exactly that, taking the third game 11-7. The fourth could have gone either way, with Razik squandering three match balls before Delierre racked up a 13-11 win. The missed chances to win visibly affected Razik who was swept aside by Delierre in a one-sided final game to bring an end to an energy-sapping match.

Delierre progressed through to the final, but was defeated by Yasser El Halaby in straight games.

2015 Greater Shepparton City Council International – Douglas Kempsell (SCO) bt Joshua Larkin (AUS) 3-2: 6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 13-11 (149m)

A gruelling matchup between Scotland’s Douglas Kempsell and Australia’s Joshua Larkin in the Greater Shepparton City Council International two years ago is the fifth longest match of all time.

Larkin, the only remaining Australian left in the tournament, staryed well and took the opening game before Kempsell turned the match on its head with fantastic performances in the second and third games.

Aiming to reach his third PSA World Tour final, Larkin battled back to level things up but, after an energy-sapping fifth and final game that went all the way to a tie-break, Kempsell emerged victorious to bring an end to the mammoth match.

Kempsell’s endeavours were rewarded with a victory in the final as he battled to a second career PSA World Tour title.

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