Team USA will vie for a 9-16 finishing position at the 2017 WSF Men’s World Team Championship after suffering a 2-1 loss against five seeds Hong Kong Thursday at Modern Squash in Marseille, France.
The No. 2 match between world No. 60 Chris Gordon and world No. 26 Leo Au led off the tie. Hong Kong’s Au recorded his second victory over the American this year, defeating Gordon 11-4, 11-6, 9-11, 11-4 in forty-three minutes to give the favorites a 1-0 lead.
The No. 1’s followed on court with world No. 51 Todd Harrity facing world No. 28 Max Lee in their first career match up. Despite being ranked two placed above Au this month, Lee earned the No. 1 position for Hong Kong holding a top twenty ranking from December 2014-September 2017.
The match proved to be one of the biggest results of the Princeton graduate’s career, as Harrity gave the U.S. hope of reaching the last eight by defeating Lee 11-7, 4-11, 11-7, 11-9 in forty-five minutes.
In the decisive No. 3 match, U.S. champion Chris Hanson couldn’t get past world No. 29 Yip Tsz Fung, who clinched the match for Hong Kong 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 in forty minutes.
“That was fun—it was a great match,” said Paul Assaiante, the Ganek Family US Squash Head National Coach. I don’t know where we’ll end up this week, but we are making progress.”
Harrity was happy with his contribution to the tie: “I just felt really relaxed today and was up for the match. I got a great start – winning the first game was huge. I didn’t want to let him get on top of me, I wanted to put as much pressure on him as possible. I was really on form and I could see he was edgy. I’m really happy that I could put it together. Towards the end of the fourth I kept telling myself not to get tense. It was very close, but the win will give me a lot of confidence.
Despite being consigned to the 9-16 playoff, Team USA will take to the glass court for the first time this tournament against thirteen seeds Wales. Live stream the match Friday, December 1, at 3:30pm local time, 9:30am ET on www.wsfmensteams.com.