Wanderers Squash Club, Johannesburg
The S A National Squash Championships being played at the Wanderers Club, Johannesburg was set alight on Tuesday evening when some of the “Young Turks” led by third seed Thoboki Mohohlo, unseeded Devon Hendrickse, 5/8 seeds Michael Wood, Christo Potgieter and JP Britz powered their way into the quarterfinals upsetting some of the “Old Guard” on their way.
Top seeds Steve Coppinger and Clinton Leeuw were always in control on their respective matches. Coppinger accounting for fellow teammate Gary Naidoo of Kwazulu Natal and Leeuw for Monday night’s giantkiller, Paul Cresswell, who had upset former champion Adrian Hansen 13-15 in the decider.
Devon Hendrickse (CG) caused the demise of former champion, Rodney Durbach, of Western Province, winners of the Jarvis Cup . Hendrickse took the first game with Durbach winning the second. The third game was a real battle royale in which Hendrickse slipped through at 15-13 but the game had taken its toll on Durbach, who faded in the fourth which Hendrickse won 11-5.
Despite taking early 7-2 and 8-4 leads in the first game against the mercurial Christo Potgieter, experienced Gary Wheadon could not keep up the pressure fading in straight games in their encounter.
Mohohlo, recently returned from Australia, where he together with JP Britz had played some PSA events, showed more maturity in his straight game defeat of Andrew Martin while Michael Wood, who had accompanied the National team to the World Championships in France in June, took early control in his match against Jimmy Schlebusch.
In two of the longest matches where fortune changed hands on a number of occasions, JP Britz survived a determined onslaught of attacking squash from Western Province’s Rudi Willemse while Zuko Kubukeli also of Western Province produced some blinding winning shots at the most unpredictable moments to edge through 11-8 in the decider against Mike Tootill.
The women’s second round was an extremely tame affair with all the top seeds spearheaded by Siyoli Waters (WP) and Cheyna Tucker (CG) moving through to the quarterfinals following straight game victories.