Laser SA National Squash Championships
Wanderers Club, Johannesburg
Top seeds Steve Coppinger and Shaun le Roux will clash in the finals of the Laser SA National Squash Championships on the All Glass Court at the Wanderers Club Johannesburg on Friday evening.
The semi-finals played on Thursday evening was a case of dejavu! In 2012 Coppinger played Clinton Leeuw winning through 11-2 12-10 11-5. In 2015 Coppinger played Leeuw and advanced to his ninth national final as he registered a straight game victory 11-8 11-2 11-6 in 31 minutes.
Since 2007 Coppinger has engraved his name on the trophy 6 times while being runner up to his coach Rodney Durbach in 2009 and losing to Shaun le Roux in last year’s final.
In a 71 minute bruising encounter Shaun le Roux the second seed eventually got the upperhand over North West’s Christo Potgieter winning through in four games as he also did in 2012.
In the first game le Roux ranked 41 in the world raced to a 7-1 and 9-3 lead taking the game at 11-5. Potgieter turned the tables in the second game aided by some unforced errors from le Roux and lead 8-1. Le Roux regained the hand in and played his way back into the game to level at 8-all and hold game point at 10-8. Potgieter in his own inimitable fashion had been diving around the court retrieving some impossible returns had to leave the court as his hand was bleeding. On his return numerous lets followed, however Potgieter won the game on his first game point at 12-10.
Some fast and furious exchanges delighted the crowd but Le Roux the defending champion took control of the match and his place in his fourth national final.
A new women’s champion will be crowned when the top seeds Cheyna Tucker (CG) and Alexandra Fuller (WP) face each other.
Fuller who reached the final in 2013 where she lost to Siyoli Waters needed 42 minutes to subdue third seeded Milnay Louw. Accurate placings by Fuller which put Louw under pressure saw Fuller win the first game 11-9. A similar pattern followed in the second game but Louw got the upper hand taking it 11-8. Gaining in confidence and making use of deeper attacking drives Fuller after leveling the points at 5-all raced through the game 11-5. Louw saved 3 match points but Fuller clinched the match on her fourth match point at 11-9.
60 minutes of positive attacking squash was dished up by the top seed Tucker and fourth seeded Elani Landman a student at UJ. Tucker using her volley to good effect won the first game 11-7 and led 5-1 in the second. Dominating play with hard deep drives and short shots Landman leveled at 5-all and then led 10-5. Hard low cross corts saw Tucker back into the game and the score stood at 10-all. Both players had 2 game points each with the UJ student evenually winningthe game on a stroke at 14-12.
Tucker returned to the court and showed little latitude as she raced though the third game 11-4 in 8 minutes. Landman returned the favour in the fourth game needing only 6 minutes to return an 11-2 score.
The stage was set – both players positive and attacking: long rallies : desperate retrieving: accurate drops: hard drives: accurately placed volleys – the score changing hands nearly every point. Landman held a match point at 11-10 but it was Tucker who snatched the match on her third match point at 14-12 to enter her first senior national final.
The women’s final is scheduled for 18h15 followed by the men’s.