By ANDREW DENT
New South Welshman Ryan Cuskelly celebrated the biggest win of his career when Canadian opponent Shahier Razik stormed off court in the third game of the BC Open final in Vancouver on Sunday.
Cuskelly was leading 11-5, 11-9, 7-7 when Razik walked off court after receiving a conduct stroke against him for arguing with the referees.
Cuskelly, the 24-year-old from Evans Head on the NSW North Coast, had struggled through the quarter-finals against young Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar but was in superb touch in the semi-finals and final to claim the seventh title of his career, but the first since he took out the China Open two years ago.
“It was a tough week, especially in the quarter-finals where I was down 8-3 in the fifth against Abouelghar and I came back and won 12-10 to take the match,” Cuskelly said.
“I just kept digging in and it paid off.
“I played very well in the semis against Joe Lee of England and I played my best squash in the final.
“It was unfortunate to finish the way it did in the third,” he added.
“Razik got a couple of bad calls then a conduct stroke and then walked off court, so it was a pretty weird ending.”
Cuskelly, who is coached by former Australian great Rod Martin in New York, now heads to Pittsburgh for the Three Rivers Open, beginning on November 17.
Shauna Flath, Head Squash Professional at Jericho Tennis Club, said: “It is not the way Ryan wanted to win and not the way Shahier wanted to lose but they shook hands at 7-7all.
“In the end we had a fantastic week of squash and congratulations to Ryan on winning the title.”