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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Nicol David denies Au family an Asian double

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Leo and Annie Au flank world champion Nicol David after the Asian finals
Leo and Annie Au flank world champion Nicol David after the Asian finals

Leo Au wins Asian men’s title but sister Annie falls in final to world champion Nicol David
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent

Nicol David denied Hong Kong’s Annie Au and Leo Au the first sibling double in the Asian Squash Championships when the world number one from Malaysia clinched her ninth women’s title in the 18th staging of the regional championships at the Sheikh Salem Al Sabah International Squash Complex in Kuwait.

David, the 31-year-old from Penang who has topped the world rankings for an all-time record 109 months, first became Asian champion in 1998 – and retained the biennial title over the next seven championships before being unable to compete in the 2013 event.

Left-hander Annie Au, the world No.11 who came to Kuwait as the defending champion, reached her third successive final after surviving a 75-minute five-game marathon against David’s compatriot Delia Arnold – the No.3 seed who ousted second-seeded Indian Dipika Pallikal in the previous round.

But David was too strong for the Hong Kong number one, beating third seed Au 12-10, 11-7, 11-8 in 35 minutes – not only to win her ninth title, but also to establish a 17-year winning streak in the championships.

Leo Au, Annie’s younger brother ranked 36 in the world (pictured above with David, centre, and sister Annie), reached the men’s final for the first time after a close-fought four-game win over Pakistan’s Farhan Zaman.

Au’s opponent was local hero Abdullah Al Muzayen, the Kuwait number one who reached his second successive final against expectations after beating the Pakistan number one Nasir Iqbal.

But Au denied the hosts a first-time Kuwaiti champion when he beat Al Muzayen 11-7, 11-9, 13-11 in 47 minutes to become Hong Kong’s first men’s Asian champion since 1992.

Asian Squash Championships, Kuwait

Men’s quarter-finals:
[11] Farhan Zaman (PAK) bt [1] Max Lee (HKG) 12-10, 11-9, 15-13 (55m)
[4] Leo Au (HKG) bt [10] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) 2-11, 11-5, 11-1, 15-13 (55m)
[3] Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) bt [5] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8 (65m)
[7] Nasir Iqbal (PAK) bt [2] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 13-15, 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 (75m)
Semi-finals:
[4] Leo Au (HKG) bt [11] Farhan Zaman (PAK) 5-11, 11-9, 15-13, 18-16 (67m)
[3] Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) bt [7] Nasir Iqbal (PAK) 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6 (67m)
Final:
[4] Leo Au (HKG) bt [3] Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) 11-7, 11-9, 13-11 (47m)

Women’s quarter-finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [7] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 11-6, 11-3, 11-7 (23m)
[4] Joshana Chinappa (IND) bt [5] Joey Chan (HKG) 11-8, 11-13, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7 (70m)
[3] Annie Au (HKG) bt [8] Rachel Arnold (MAS) 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 (30m)
[6] Delia Arnold (MAS) bt [2] Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11-7, 12-14, 11-13, 11-8, 11-9 (95m)
Semi-finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [4] Joshana Chinappa (IND) 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 (34m)
[3] Annie Au (HKG) bt [6] Delia Arnold (MAS) 7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 11-4 (75m)
Final:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [3] Annie Au (HKG) 12-10, 11-7, 11-8 (35m)

Picture courtesy of WSF 

 

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