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Laser South African Nationals 2015
Wanderers Club Johannesburg, 08-12 Jun

12-Jun, Finals:

[1] Steve Coppinger 3-0 [2] Shaun le Roux
             11-3 ,11-5, 12-10

[2] Alexandra Fuller 3-1 [1] Cheyna Tucker
             3-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-2

Coppinger & Fuller crowned in Jo'burg

The finals of the 2015 LASER South African National Squash Championships took place on a chilly Friday evening  at the Wanderers Squash Club on their very own all glass match court.

The ladies’ final was a match-up between top seed Cheyna Tucker and number 2 seed Alexandra Fuller while the men’s final was a battle between former and current national champions Stephen Coppinger and Shaun le Roux.

The ladies’ final started at 6:30pm in front of a packed gallery at the. In the first game Tucker (WSA 63 World Ranking) and Fuller (WSA 96 World Ranking) battled their nerves for the first few points.

On the third point of the match Fuller was hit on the nose by Tucker’s backswing which seemed to rattle Fuller and helped Tucker to a 11/3 victory in the first game.

Nerves seemed to get the better of Cheyna Tucker in the second game and Alexandra Fuller raced away to an 11/4 win in the second. Both players came out firing in the third game and at 5/5 it looked like anyone’s game. Tucker then raced away to a 9/6 lead only to have Fuller fight back and level the game at 9/9.

Tucker had the game point but was not able to convert. Alexandra Fuller then took advantage of the situation and came back to win the game 12/10.

In the fourth game Alexandra was bursting with confidence and dominated the game and winning the match 3/11, 11/4, 12/10, 11/2.

The men’s final followed after the ladies’ final and saw Stephen Coppinger (PSA 17 World Ranking) exploding from the start.

Stephen took the ball early, moving Shaun le Roux (PSA 41 World Ranking) from corner to corner with precision and barely made a mistake. Stephen won the first game with relative ease 11/3.

Coppinger raced away to a 9/3 lead in the second game displaying much of the same precision and speed that he had shown in the first. Le Roux fought hard to win the next two points but Coppinger’s determination helped him to the second game 11/5.

The crowd was hoping for a comeback by Le Roux and after Le Roux won the first four points the crowds’ expectations seemed to be forthcoming. Coppinger then won the next three points but Le Roux then answered back taking the lead again 6/3. Coppinger then fought back again to level the game at 6/6.

Rallies were long and hard with no player wanting to make that costly mistake. At 7/7 Le Roux made 3 costly mistakes giving Coppinger 3 match points. Le Roux gave everything he had and managed to level the game at 10/10.

Steve then showed why he is number 17 in the world and went on to win the match in straight games 11/3, 11/5, 12/10.


11-Jun, Semis:
Top seeds through to finals in Johannesburg

Top seeds Steve Coppinger and Shaun le Roux will clash in the finals of the Laser S A 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 and. 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 upperhand taking it 11-8. Gaining in confidence and making use of deeper attacking drives Fuller after levelling 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 levelled 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 games ponts each with the UJ student evenually winningthe game on a stroke at 14-12.

Tuckerr eturned to the court and showed little latyitude 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 atch point at 11-10 but it was Tucker who snnatched the match on her third match point at 14-12 to enter her first senior national final.

11-Jun, Semis:

[1] Cheyna Tucker 3-2 [3/4] Elani Landman               11/7, 12/14, 11/6, 2/11, 14/12
[2] Alexandra Fuller 3-1 [3/4] Milnay Louw               11/9, 8/11, 11/5, 11/9

[1] Steve Coppinger 3-0 [5/8] Clinton Leeuw              11/8, 11/2, 11/6
[2] Shaun Le Roux 3-1 [3/4] Christo Potgieter                11/7, 11/3, 10/12, 11/

10-Jun, Quarter-Finals:

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 aassert 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

Quarterfinals :
1- Cheyna Tucker bt 9-16 Farrah Sterne (N) 11/8 11/8 5/11 5/11 11/7, 3-4 Elani Landman bt 9-16 Michelle Kohne 11/2 11/8 11/5, 3-4 Milnay Louw (N) bt 9-16 Alexa Pienaar (SACD) 8/11 11/5 11/1 11/7, 2- Alexandra Fuller (WP) beat 9-16 Sonica Fritz (N) 11/3 11/3 11/5.

Men: 1- Stephen Coppinger (KZN) beat 9-16 Tristan Eysele (B) 11/2 11/3 11/6, 5-8 Clinton Leeuw (WP) beat 3-4 Thoboki Mohohlo (CG) 10/12 11/8 9/11 11/7 11/5, 3-4 Christo Potgieter (NW) beat 5-8 JP Brits (LIM) 11/8 3/11 11/5 11/6, 2- Shaun Le Roux beat 5-8 Michael Wood (CG) 11/3 11/5 11/4,

09-Jun, Day TWO:

Defending champion Shaun le Roux, seeded 2, made his way to the quarterfinals of the Laser S A National Squash Championships being played at the Wanderers Club, Johannesburg when he accounted for Ruan Olivier in four games on Tuesday evening.

Ranked 17 in the world, top seed Steve Coppinger took his allotted place after defeating Jimmy Schlebusch (NW) in straight games.

3rd Seeded Thoboki Mohohlo (CG) after losing the first game 5-11 to national player Rodney Durbach (WP) gradually gained control in their encounter taking the next 3 games 11-7 11-7 11-3 while 4th seed North West’s Christo Potgieter also needed 4 games to get past Central Gautenger Kyle Maree

The only upset in the men’s championship was caused by 9-16 seed Tristan Eysele of Border who in a 71 minute titanic struggle gained the better of 5-8 seed Gary Wheadon (KZN) winning 11- 5 12-14 10-12 12-10 12-10.

In the women’s section the top three seeds Cheyna Tucker (CG), Alexandra Fuller (WP) and Milnay Louw (WP) had little trouble in moving through to the quarter finals dropping less than 20 points between them.

4th Seeded Elani Landman took her allotted place in the quarters after accounting for Western Province’s Danielle van Niekerk 13-11 11-8 11-6.
But it was 5th seed Lume Landman (CG), 6th seed Kacey Leigh Dodd (E), 7th seed Makgosi Peloakgosi (N) and 8th seeded Adel Weir (CG) who all tumbled out.

In a closely contested match Landman lost to fellow UJ Student 9-16 seed, Alexia Pienaar in 4 games. Former National champion, Farrah Sterne of Northerns, seeded 9-16 ,had too much experience for 2014 under 19 champion Dodd, a student at UJ, winning through 11-9 15-13 12-10. Sonica Fritz , another 9-16 seed subdued a determined fight by fellow Northerns team mate Peloakgosi edging through to the quarters in 4 games 11-8 12-10 10-12 11-8.

In the longest women’s quarterfinal last week’s newly crowned Wanderers Open champion, Michelle Kohne, a 9-16 seed, edged through in 5 games to upset 8th seeded Weir.


Day Two Results:

1- Stephen Coppinger (KZN) bt 9-16 - Jimmy Schlebusch (NW) 11/8 11/3 11/3, 9-16, 9-16 -Tristan Eysele (B) bt 5-8- Gary Wheadon (KZN) 11/5 12/14 10/12 12/10 12/10, 5-8 - Clinton Leeuw (WP) w/o 9-16- Devon Hendrikse scr ,3-4 -Thoboki Mohohlo bt 9-16- Rodney Durbach (WP) 5/11 11/7 11/7 11/3, 3-4- Christo Potgieter (NW) bt 9-16 Kyle Maree 11/5 4/11 11/6 11/3, 5-8- JP Brits (LIM) w/o 9-16 -Zuko Kubukeli (WP)scr., 5-8- Michael Wood bt Craig Stephens (N) 5/11 11/2 5/11 11/3 11/2, 2- Shaun Le Roux(WP) beat 9-16 Ruan Olivier (FS) 10/12 11/4 11/1 11/6.

Women: 1- Cheyna Tucker bt 9-16- Janice Harmse 11/2 11/3 11/4, 9-16- Farrah Sterne (N) beat 5-8 Kacey-Leigh Dodd (EP) 11/9 15/13 12/10, 9-16- Michelle Kohne bt 5-8- Adel Weir 7/11 13/11 6/12 11/8 11/9, 3-4 Elani Landman) bt 9-16 Dani van Niekerk (WP) 13/11 11/8 11/6, 3-4- Milnay Louw (WP) bt 9-16 Judy Usher (E) 11/1 11/1 11/2, 9-16 Alexia Pienaar (SACD) beat 5-8 Lume Landman 10/12 12/10 11/7 11/8, 9-16 Sonica Fritz (N) beat 5-8 Makgosi Peloakgosi (N) 11/8 12/10 11/13 11/8, 2- Alexandra Fuller (WP) beat 9-16 Sibongile Seroto 11/4 11/5 11/2

S A National Squash Championships
Wanderers Club, Johannesburg

Ranked in the top 20 in the world where he has oscillated between position 15 and 18 for the past 13 months, Steve Coppinger is aiming to collect his 7th national title when the S A Championships – presented by Laser - will be played at the Wanderers Club, Johannesburg from Monday 8th June until Friday 12th June.

Seeded 1, Coppinger captured the title in 2007 and 2008, and then in a four year winning streak from 2010 until 2013. 2014 saw him however bow out in 4 games to Shaun le Roux, ranked 41 in the world in the final.

Coppinger and le Roux are seeded to clash in Friday evening’s final on the all glass court. Christo Potgieter and Thoboki Mohohlo, ranked 143 and 149 respectively in the world, are seeded three and four respectively with Mohohlo scheduled to meet Coppinger in the one semi-final and Potgieter clashing with Le Roux .

A new women’s champion will be crowned as defending champion Siyoli Waters, presently ranked 32 in the world, will be competing in another world circuit event in New Zealand. Ranked 63 in the world former UJ student Cheyna Ticker slots into the top slot with Capetonian, Alexandra Fuller ranked 96 is the second seed. One point behind Fuller on the World rankings Milnay Louw, also from Cape Town is seeded third with UJ student Elani Landman fourth.

Play starts at 17h30 each evening with the semi- finals on Thursday 11th June followed by the finals on Friday 12th

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