It took the longest recorded squash match for more than 30 years to decide the Squash Revolution National Capital Open Presented by Oliver title when Canadian Shawn Delierre beat England’s Adrian Waller in two hours and 37 minutes, surviving a battle which went the full distance and featured four tie-break games.
The third game of the climax of the PSA World Tour Challenger 15 event in Washington DC alone lasted 44 minutes!
“Every rally of the match was hotly-contested – except when Delierre (pictured) virtually conceded the fourth game after Waller had sped off to 9-3,” explained tournament spokesman Hunt Richardson.
“In the fifth game Waller was up 7-5 and then he lost three points in a row, two of them via unforced errors. It was the only time the London native’s focus lapsed after more than two hours of brutal rallies.
“Waller tied the score at 8-8 and saved two match balls to knot it at 10-10. The blue ribbon remained unclaimed at 11-11 and 12-12. But the fleet Canadian, literally trembling from exhaustion during the last quarter-hour of this battle, never broke. Delierre willed himself through to seal the game and match 14-12, a heroic feat of mind over body!
“Real gladiator stuff,” added Richardson after the Canadian’s historic 11-13, 12-10, 14-12, 4-11, 14-12 victory in 157 minutes.
The longest recorded match in the sport took place in 1983 – in the era of ‘hand-in-hand-out’ scoring – when legendary Pakistani Jahangir Khan beat Egyptian Gamal Awad 9-10, 9-5, 9-7, 9-2 in the 166-minute Chichester Festival final in England.
And, incredibly, it was Shawn Delierre in November 2008 who first claimed the longest match since the scoring system went to PAR (point-a-rally) to 11 points in September 2004 – in the semi-finals of the Baltimore Cup in Baltimore, USA, where he beat fellow countryman Shahier Razik in a 150-minute marathon.
And it was Razik who Delierre toppled in the Washington semi-final to make the National Capital Open climax!