Monday, July 15, 2024

Leo Lands Bankers Hall Double

Lightning strikes twice for Au as he defeats Kandra in Bankers Club Pro Am final

By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Chief Reporter

Top seed Leo Au produced a flawless display to defeat German number two Raphael Kandra to successfully retain the Bankers Club Pro Am in Calgary, Alberta.

In a repeat of their 2013 final at the Bankers Hall Club, Au showed ill effects of his gruelling 90 minute semi-final encounter just 24 hours earlier as he brushed aside the left-handed fourth seed 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 in 42 minutes.

Leo Au main imageThe finalists both needed five games to progress past Jan Koukal and Martin Knight respectively in the last four, but Kandra struggled to upstage the world number 41 from Hong Kong as he fell to a third successive loss against Au (pictured right at the 2013 World Championship).

Kandra, 23, has now endured final heartache in his last two PSA events, while Au joins Arturo Salazar and Chris Simpson as back-to-back two-time champions at the $10,000 event.

Au, who has now won five PSA titles, could face Kandra, world ranked 28 places below, again next month when he bids to retain his Gas City Open crown.

Final Result:

[1] Leo Au (HKG) 3-0 [4] Raphael Kandra (GER) 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 (42m)


Raphael denies Knight to book 2013 Bankers Hall Club final repeat against Au

GERMANY’S Raphael Kandra mounted two mighty comebacks in the semi-finals of the Bankers Hall Club Pro Am in Calgary – one from an 11-0 game loss – to upset second-seeded New Zealander Martin Knight to reach the final in Canada.

The fourth seed from Essen finally triumphed 6-11, 11-6, 0-11, 11-4, 11-5 after exactly an hour to reach his second Tour final in a row – and the 11th of his career.

Kandra (pictured right) now faces top seed Leo Au in a repeat of their 2013 final, after the 23-year-old from Hong Kong prevailed in a 91-minute marathon over Czech number one Jan Koukal.

Au, world ranked 41, saved game balls in a tight first game tie-break before stemming a determined fightback by Koukal to triumph 14-12, 11-5, 5-11, 8-11, 11-3.

Au, who will be competing in his third successive final at the Bankers Hall Club, will be hunting his fifth PSA Tour title and his third victory over Kandra in 12 months. 

Semi-final Results:

[1] Leo Au (HKG) 3-2 [7] Jan Koukal (CZE) 14-12, 11-5, 5-11, 8-11, 11-3 (91m)
[4] Raphael Kandra (GER) 3-2 [2] Martin Knight (NZL) 6-11, 11-6, 0-11, 11-4, 11-5 (60m)

Picture by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)

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