Fri 14th May, 2004:

Thierry Lincou  bt  Joseph Kneipp
10-11 (0-2), 11-9, 11-2, 11-1 (58 min)

Ian McKenzie reports from Broadgate


In the final Lincou played well but lost the first game despite leading throughout.

“I was consistent but he was aggressive and attacked before me. He didn’t let me play as I wanted,” said Lincou afterwards.

Lincou was onto his game in the second, which reached a climax when he led 10-9. The point on which the match turned followed. Kneipp's strings went.

“I had to keep the rally going. I floated it, tried to keep it tight and hoped we would be able to play a let,” said Kneipp. “The longer you play with broken strings, the slacker they get and the less control they have. I played a tight one, he pulled the ball out loose and I had to take a chance. It clipped the tin.”

That was the second game. Kneipp tried a variety of rackets after that, a borrowed Prince and an old Dunlop, five in all but did not adjust to the feel – and he was tiring. He is a confidence player and that too was now sagging, like his strings, as Lincou’s was rising.

The Frenchman was now thoroughly into his game, professional, and clinically effective.

Kneipp was out of control, losing the third 11-2 and the fourth even more convincingly 11-1.

It was a stylish performance from Lincou. “It means a lot to me,” he said. “I’ve lost so many finals and it’s great to have my first big win and do it in front of my parents and my coach. It’s a great feeling.”

Broadgate has become a special stop on the PSA Tour and now has full houses of enthusiastic fans from the beginning of the week.

Everyone was pleased. Neil Eckert, Chief Executive Officer of Brit Insurance, the event’s promoter, said: “It was a wonderful, topsy-turvy week of brilliant squash.”

It was Lincou’s week.

“It’s great to have my first

big win in front of my

parents and my coach.”