Squash: Bad language spells defeat for German

Click to follow
The Independent Online
HANSI WIENS, the German No 1, lost his first-round match in the the British Open yesterday because he allegedly swore at a spectator.

The decision was made by the English referee, Tony Parker, in Wiens' match against the Finnish No 1, Sami Elopuro, at Lambs Club, London. Elopuro was leading 8-10, 9-4, 9-2, 5-0 when Wiens appeared to utter an obscenity. Parker awarded the game to Elopuro and, as a result, the Finn won the match. It is the first time a British Open match has been decided in this way.

Parker skipped two stages, a warning and a point, in the code of conduct sequence, but was entitled to make the decision. Both players were so surprised by it that they are likely to write critical letters to the Professional Squash Association.

Elopuro was not happy about the decision. 'You'll be sorry,' he said as he left the court, and afterwards added: 'He could have given a penalty point and warned Hansi that next time it would be the match. Too many referees want to dominate. They should let the players do their job and just count the points.'

Wiens, the world No 18, denied he had sworn at a spectator, claiming the remark had been made to himself. Parker, who in 36 years had only once given a code of conduct stroke, said: 'This is totally unacceptable. This rule may be a bit hard but that's what we have to do.'

Later, there was a startling upset when Rodney Martin, the 1991 world champion and three times a former British Open finalist, was beaten 9-1, 9-3, 9-5 in the first round by the Pakistani qualifier, Zarak Jahan Khan. This continued a remarkable comeback for Zarak, a former world No 9, who recently spent a year suspended.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 35