Laser SA National Squash Championships
Wanderers Club, Johannesburg
Ranked 17 in the world, Steve Coppinger, six times winner of the Men’s national title, wasted no time in making his way into the semi-finals disposing of Tristan Eysele (Border) in 20 minutes when the quarterfinals were played at the Wanderers Club, Johannesburg on Tuesday evening.
Defending champion Shaun Le Roux, presently ranked 41 in the world, also only needed 20 minutes as he raced though in straight games against Michael Wood.
Christo Potgieter (NW) the third seed, took the first game 11-8 against 4th seeded JP Brits of Limpopo before Brits took control winning the second game 11-3. Potgieter’s agility and recovering ability allowed him to assert control, applying the necessary pressure to win the next two games 11-5 11-6 and a place in the semi-finals.
Match of the evening was the 77 minute clash between Young Turk, fourth seeded Thoboki Mohohlo and experienced National player, Clinton Leeuw of Western Province, who is now coaching in America. Mohohlo drew first blood leading 6-2 but Leeuw fought back to lead 7-6 . Mohohlo making good use of accurate placings and volleys moved to hold game ball at 10-7 but only managed to clinch the game 12-10 on his third game ball. Both players, moving easily, making adept use of deep drives, killing drops and attacking volleys punctuated by incredible retrieving fenced physically and mentally with each other.
After 34 minutes physically demanding play Leeuw levelled games at one all and then witnessed Mohohlo winning the third game 11-9. Points seesawed in the fourth game which again went to the experienced Leeuw.
The decider saw an increasingly confident Leeuw taking command as he led 5-2 and 8-4. With Mohohlo appearing to wilt under the pressure, Leeuw needed only one match point to put him in the semi finals and set up a clash with Coppinger.
Semi final schedule Thursday 11th June: 18h15 Shaun le Roux vs Christo Potgieter; 19h45 Steve Coppinger vs Clinton Leeuw.