Blast from the past : the longest match

The longest match(es)

At a time when most of us would just be grateful to be on court at all, Leo Au’s retirement reminds us of the longest match(es) of all time …

2015 Gas City Pro-Am

The semi-final match between Leo Au and Shawn Delierre in Holtrand Gas City Pro-Am 2015 in Medicine Hat, Canada, was, at a mammoth 170 minutes, the longest squash match …. ever !!

[1] Leo Au (Hkg) 3-2 [3] Shawn Delierre (Can)  11-6, 4-11, 11-6, 7-11, 16-14 (170m)

It was a match that eclipsed the previous record set 32-years ago by legendary Pakistani six-time world champion Jahangir Khan, who took 166 minutes (and four games) 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 5′ 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, to mearn his place in the annals of sporting history in the process.

Note: depending on how ref Martin Knight recorded it, it might even have been longer – the individual game times add up to 170m, but a start-to-end timing may have been longer.

“It was a tough week for me because I’m physically and mentally exhausted after the tournament,” said Leo.

“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.”

The Longest Squash Matches of all time

2015 Gas City Pro-Am:
Leo Au (Hkg) 3-2 Shawn Delierre (Can)                  11-6, 4-11, 11-6, 7-11, 16-14 (170m)
1983 Chichester Festival:
Jahangir Khan (Pak) 3-1 Gamal Awad (Egy)                              9-10, 9-5, 9-7, 9-2 (166m)
2013 National Capital Open:
Shawn Delierre (Can) 3-2 Adrian Waller (Eng)  11-13, 12-10, 14-12, 4-11, 14-12 (157m)
2008 Baltimore Cup :
Shawn Delierre (Can) 3-2 Shahier Razik (Can)       9-11, 8-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-5 (150m)
Dougie Kempsell (Sco) 3-2 Joshua Larkin (Aus)    6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 13-11 (149m)
2006 Hong Kong Open:
Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 3-2 Adrian Grant (Eng)    12-10, 11-3, 3-11, 7-11, 13-11 (146m)

And the longest three-game match:
2016 Gas City Pro-Am:
Ben Coleman (Eng) 3-0 Shawn Delierre (Can)                    11-9, 13-11, 12-10 (130m)