Squash: Stephen Coppinger rises in world rankings

2013-02-08 00:00

STEPHEN Coppinger continues his rise in the world squash rankings after a solid performance at the PSA International 25 Metro Squash Windy City Open in Chicago, USA.

The Hilton College old boy lost the final of the tournament to Spain’s Borja Golan, the No. 1 seed, who prevailed in four sets — 5-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 — in 74 minutes.

Coppinger was the second seed and is the first South African squash player in 30 years to break into the world top 20 rankings.

He started well against Golan, the world No. 10, taking the first set and fighting hard in the second, where the Spaniard drew level.

Event spokesperson William James said: “In the third set, Coppinger applied more pressure to try and gain control, but Golan had settled and absorbed it easily.

“Mistakes started creeping into Coppinger’s game, ultimately turning the tide for the South African, the pressure back on him.”

Using his athleticism and intelligence on court, Golan took control to close out proceedings and take his PSA Tour titles score to 28, level with Egypt’s world number one Ramy Ashour.

Said Golan: “It was intense and Steve started well.

“In the second set, I was mixing my shots more and moving him around the court, which worked for me. I kept the same gameplan in the next two sets, staying focused and playing aggressively.”

Coppinger’s performance follows his showing at last month’s JP Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York, where he upset fifth seed Englishman Peter Barker in the first round.

Coppinger progressed to the quarter-finals where he was beaten by England’s James Willstrop, the tournament’s first seed.

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