England’s World No.32 Tom Richards held off a fightback from Hong Kong’s World No.22 Leo Au to prevail in five-games in round two of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York.
Richards started brightly to take a two-game lead, before Au switched up his game plan to roar back against the Englishman and close out the third game on the tie-break, before taking the fourth 11-8 to draw level.
TomRichards86</a> raises the roof at Grand Central!! <br><br>Magnificent retrieving from the Englishman and that finish is just <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToCSquash?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToCSquash</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToC20?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToC20</a> <a href="https://t.co/dBOQgedQgF">pic.twitter.com/dBOQgedQgF</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) January 10, 2020
The points continued to be traded between the two players in the fifth before Au raced to an 8-4 lead. However, Richards was able to reign that in to get back level before taking the match 11-6, 11-6, 10-12, 8-11, 11-9 in 76 minutes.
Richards will face New Zealand’s Paul Coll for a place in the quarter finals.
“It’s a bit of a ‘if you’re going to die, don’t die wondering!’” said Richards afterwards.
“I play better when I’m positive and I think I went 8-4 down and I just said to myself ‘just be positive’ and if it’s there go for it and that paid off today.
“I had a game plan, but all credit to Leo – he completely changed in the third and fourth. He really controlled that and controlled large parts of the fifth as well. I felt like I was trying to change my game plan as well to suit that, I was lucky to get out on top today.”
Tom Richards (ENG) bt Leo Au (HKG) 3-2: 11-6, 11-6, 10-12, 8-11, 11-9 (76m)