By ALAN THATCHER (Squash Mad Editor)
French international Lucas Serme has forgiven world No.3 Mostafa Asal for the wayward shot that struck him on the head during the second round of the U.S. Open earlier this week.
A shot from Asal left Serme with concussion and a perforated eardrum and resulted in Egypt’s defending champion being disqualified.
Serme was unable to continue and was taken to hospital, where an examination revealed the extent of the injuries which then forced him to withdraw from his third round tie against Marwan ElShorbagy.
Posting on Instagram, the 30-year-old world No.43 Serme said: “Definitely not the way I thought I would end this year’s US Open.
“I am okay, I suffered a mild concussion and a pierced ear drum. Nothing serious and I will be fine after a few days of rest.
“Just wanted to thank everyone for the texts and messages of support and wishes of recovery, it was very kind.
“I also feel for @mostafassal who saw his title defence cut short because of this incident: it was an accident and he never meant for anything bad to happen, it is really unfortunate that this match ended that way for both of us.
“Time for some rest before getting back on court!”
Asal responded, saying: “I am sorry once again @lucasserme and glad to hear that you are feeling better.”
He also posted the following apology and explanation:
Serme is due to play fellow Frenchman Baptiste Masotti in the first round of the Grasshopper Cup in Zurich next Tuesday (October 18).
Asal is certain to face a PSA disciplinary process because of the incident but Serme’s comments of forgiveness and insistence that it was an accident will be taken into consideration.
They will also help to quell some of the abuse directed at Asal on social media after the match.
Former Team USA No.1 Julian Illingworth also took to YouTube with a video explanation that highlights the complexities of dealing with an incident like this:
Squash Mad’s report on the moment that left Serme unable to continue playing and ended Asal’s title defence: here
Pictures courtesy of PSA World Tour