WP duo of Wheadon and Louw are national champs | SASCOC - SASCOC

WP duo of Wheadon and Louw are national champs


Western Province players, Gary Wheadon and Milnay Louw, lifted the prestigious GrowthPoint national titles when the finals were played on the all-glass court at the Wanderers Squash Club, Johannesburg, at the weekend.

Louw, who successfully defended the title she won in 2016, was in dominant form throughout the week and did not drop a game on her way to the final. Ranked 64th in the world, top-seeded Alexandra Fuller, also of Cape Town, also coasted into the finals, not dropping a game, but then had no answer to Louw’s attacking play.

Louw ran out a fairly easy 11-9 11-7 11-1 winner.

In the absence of world No 20 player and eight-time winner of the title, Steve Coppinger, the men’s field was an open, unpredictable field.

Top seed Clinton Leeuw, now based in the US, needed five games to defeat 5/8 seed Christo Potgieter in the quarter-finals, but then fell victim to Wheadon in a tight four games in the semi-final.

In the bottom half of the draw, second seed, Thoboki Mohohlo, a student at Trinity College in the US, accounted for Central Gautenger Devon Hendrikse in four games to set up the semi-final clash with Rodney Durbach, winner of the World Masters 40-44 section in 2016.

Durbach showed scant respect for his younger opponent, racing through the first two games 11-4 11-1. Mohohlo, who had been selected for the national men’s team to play in the 2015 World Men’s Team championship, which was eventually cancelled, found some form to pocket the third game 11-4, but thereafter Durbach dominated play, winning the fourth game 11-5 and taking a place in his seventh final.

Winner in 1999, 2003 and 2009 and victor over Wheadon in the recent Western Province Open final, Durbach was favourite to win his fourth title.

But it was a determined Wheadon who applied the pressure against a tiring Durbach and emerged 11-7 11-9 11-8 winner.

Wheadon is only the second player representing KwaZulu-Natal at the annual Jarvis interprovincial championships to appear in the finals – the other being Adrian Hansen.

Picture of the national champions Wheadon and Louw courtesy of Jeff Shulman

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