ISLAMABAD - Hong Kong squash player Leo Au has said that he is eager to improve his PSA rankings and aiming at winning major squash titles.

Talking to The Nation, Leo, who is world number 20, said: “I have recently won the Asian Games singles title and now I am eager to break into top 10 in PSA rankings. I have played the best squash last year and the dream run still continues. If things go on in right direction, I am hopeful that I will be able to fulfill my dream of winning major world squash titles.

“Now I am playing squash for last couple of months and didn’t get any time to cool down. The events were coming thick and fast, like Asian Seniors, Asian Games and other PSA events. I was top seed and it was extra responsibility on my shoulders to do well. It would have been fun, had I played the final against someone from Pakistan, as the level of competition and excitement was beyond imagination,” he added.

Leo said he was extremely tired and feeling the aftermaths of the long tiring season, due to which he lost to Egyptian Youssef in the final of the $30,000 Serena Hotels Chief of the Air Staff International for Men 2018 Championship. “It was highly close second round match against young Malaysian Ivan Yuen, as he gave me very close scare. I was feeling tired, as I was struggling to get over jetlag and was feeling the pressure of being number one.

“Every player was trying his best to showcase his skills and grab the title. After surviving early scare against Ivan, I was struggling to find my rhythm, but it was too much for me, as I had consumed too much energy in the earlier round matches and it was very difficult for me to maintain my body in perfect shape in the last stages,” he added.

Praising the passionate Pakistani crowd, the Hong Kong player said: “The way Pakistani crowd supports even foreign players and cheers for them throughout the match is really commendable and this is why, I really want to play in Pakistan. We never get same response from the home crowd that is given to us in Pakistan. I don’t feel any kind of security issue here as Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF), players and people are very caring and give us too much respect, love and care.”

“Like past, it was once again a wonderful trip to Pakistan and I enjoyed my squash and made some new friends here. I would love to come again soon as I have heard a few more international tournaments are coming thick and fast in Pakistan,” he added.

When asked about visiting the country especially Islamabad, Leo said: “Off course, I would love to visit historical places, as I had heard a lot about beauty of Islamabad and adjacent areas. This time, I don’t have time but next time, I will definitely try to avail the opportunity and will request the federation to ensure we get the chance of travelling to nearby places.”