Muller tops women’s field in squash showdown
Defending men’s champion Christo Potgieter and last year’s women’s runner-up Lizelle Muller safely negotiated their regional hub events as the line-up for the Growthpoint SA Nationals squash tournament in Cape Town was decided at the weekend.
The country’s leading players will gather at the V&A Waterfront from October 20-23 to battle for the honour of being crowned national champion on the all-glass court.
Adding a new dimension this year will be the U17 section after qualifying events for the juniors were held last month.
Last weekend saw hundreds of players compete in eight tournaments around the country, with the A section winners qualifying for the SA Nationals.
Potgieter, playing the Joburg Squash event, and Muller, in the Free State tournament in Welkom, came through to qualify for Cape Town, but only after some interesting results were thrown up over the three days.
In the Northerns competition, Ruan Olivier, who excelled by reaching the Growthpoint SA Nationals final in Tshwane/Pretoria last year, was made to work extremely hard by provincial colleague Andrew Martin before securing his spot in the top eight.
He trailed 2-1 in games before digging deep to get out of that hole by taking the final two games 11-9 and 11-7 in a tough final.
The Midlands tournament in Maritzburg also produced some tight contests as both Tristan Eysele and Jennifer Preece dropped games against Justin Gouweloos and Savannah Ingledew respectively.
In the Western Province event, Mighael Lombard caused a slight upset by defeating second seed Rodney Durbach in the semifinals, winning in five after trailing 2-0. However, he was not able to repeat those heroics in the final as Jacques Duminy cruised to a 3-0 win.
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