Racquets thrown and fingers pointed as Hong Kong’s Leo Au wins International Squash Open
Tempers boil over at Hong Kong Football Club as beaten finalist Omar Mosaad confronts referee in heated exchange
There were fireworks on and off the court as Leo Au Chun-ming pulled off a stunning comeback victory from two sets down to win the HKFC PSA International Squash Open on Saturday.
The Hong Kong Football Club saw a heated final play out with Au’s opponent, former world number three Omar Mosaad, becoming visibly irked as he surrendered his lead and went down in five sets.
During the fifth set, the Egyptian third seed’s temper boiled over after a decision from referee Russell Weatherburn went against him.
The imposing, 1.9-metres tall Mosaad threw his racquet down and stormed out of the court, glaring and pointing at Weatherburn before asking for his name, to which the Australian responded “I am the referee”.
Mosaad then said “you are bad” before he stepped back in to resume play.
Weatherburn’s officiating had also angered Au on several occasions, with the players frequently questioning dubious stroke and let calls.
“I was worried about the refereeing, but it was better today,” said Au. “Yesterday’s referee [in the semi-finals] wasn’t very decisive, and it really affected the big points in the last couple of sets.
“[Mosaad] is big and tall so interferences are bound to happen. Fortunately, I was able to control it.
“I had to play the ball higher and wider – past his body – so he couldn’t put as much power into his returns. I just managed to hold out in the end.”
Mosaad had his sights set on the trophy after comfortably going two sets up and earning a match point in the fourth set.
However, Au persevered to win the set 15-13 and even up the match, before delivering the final blow to win the deciding set 11-7.
“I’ve played in this tournament a lot but my performances haven’t been great. I felt good this time round so getting a win was really special,” said Asian Individual Squash Championships gold medallist Au, who leaves for the Macau Open next week.
“Winning at home is obviously nicer because you hear the crowd after each point I win.
“This is my first PSA win this year and I hope it helps for the rest of the season. My world ranking went down [to 34] so I want to get back to where I was [25th].”
In the women’s final, Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb beat Joshna Chinappa of India in straight sets 11-4, 11-4, 11-4.