year old Thierry
Lincou of France captured the 2001 MILO S A Squash Challenge title when in
a grueling encounter he outplayed South Africas national captain, Rodney
Durbach, in five games.
Trailing 9-10 in the first game
Lincou, who the previous week had been runner-up in the prestigious Hong
Kong Open, playing tight, deep drives from both wings, worked Durbach all
over the court to notch 6 consecutive points to pocket the first game
15-10 in 27 minutes.
In the second game Lincou led 4-1 and
9-6 before Durbach executed some accurate crosscourt volleys and reverse
angle boasts and equaled points at 9-all. With Lincou making 3
uncharacteristic unforced errors, Durbach was back in control and he won
the game 15-13 to level matters.
The third game provided even more
squash at its best with long rallies, punctuated by attacking drives,
precise volleys, pin-point placings and two players not willing to give an
inch. Unfortunately, 3 consecutive errors by Durbach when leading 10-9,
allowed the Frenchman a reprieve and he won the game 15-12.
As with the second game Lincou ran up
a 4-1 lead before a re-focused Durbach, a former Pretoria High School
pupil, returned to the fray and led 7-4 and 14-9. He levelled matters at 2
games all by winning the game 15-10 on the first game ball.
Leading 8-7 in the decider, Durbach
was 7 points away from a PSA title but Lincous cunning courtcraft began
to take its toll. Although desperately trying to keep in the match an
exhausted Durbach could only but witness the third seed gain the upperhand
to command a 13-9 lead. With deep drives he took the match 15-10 after a
100 minutes of crowd pleasing squash.
Craig van der Wath won the inaugural
Milo Mens Open (South Africas top 8) when he outplayed Mike Tootill in
straight games. Northern Gautenger Farrah Sterne caused a surprise when
she accounted for top seed Angie Clifton Parks to take the Milo Womens