"TITI-TIGHT" HANGS HIS RACQUET
of a new adventure.... How far is America????....
ANOTHER LEGEND RETIRING...
First ever non anglo-saxon European to reach the World number one
status, also World Champion, 23 Tour titles from 44 final
appearances, twice European Champion, 11 times French
Champion, and one of only four players to have
maintained themselves in the top 10 without interruption for
10 years, Thierry Lincou, “the Guv” as the French
nicknamed him, has decided to call it a day.
If he is officially retiring from the PSA (Professional
Squash Association), he will still come back and support
“Les Bleus” in June 2013, in Mulhouse, for the World Men’s
For now though, the Frenchman, originally from La Réunion,
an Island in the Indian Ocean, but who has been settled in
Marseille for a few years now, just arrived in Boston, USA, where he is about to start a new career outside sports (more
about that in a few months), while still coaching promising
American junior players.
was seeing players of my generation retiring one after the
David Palmer, Stewart Boswell. And I had been
thinking very seriously about my reconversion.
"I received a few interesting offers recently, and I felt
that maybe, I was starting to lose a bit of motivation. A
year more could have been the year too many, as my recent
physical niggles made me realise I was not getting any
younger, and that it was harder and harder to maintain
myself at the highest level."
It’s a completely new page that Thierry is about to write,
as he has moved to the States with Céline his wife and his
two daughters, Jade and Paola.
“Céline and I went to spend a few days in Boston back in
May. We truly enjoyed our time there, and we were reassured
of the fact the environment suited us to a T, and would make
our children happy.”
all the other messages
He cannot help himself being
emotional when he thinks about what he is leaving behind.
“I’m leaving a whole chunk of my life in Marseille. The
“Marseille Set Club” was my second home. I’m leaving behind
my sparring partners, my squash mates and all the friends
we’ve made here, and that goes for the four of us.”
Does he have a few regrets about his career? Yes. Like
not winning the British Open – despite reaching two finals (against
Matthew and Gaultier), or just missing out on the
World Team title in Odense, in 2009.
“I can still see myself in Denmark, in that decider against
Shabana, I had seven game balls in the third and fourth I
just couldn’t transform. It was a very high quality match,
but I lost against a Shabana as imperial as ever in the
Now, for the memorable moments, of course he mentions his
World Open title which he grabbed against Lee Beachill in
December 2004, saving a match ball in the fourth.
“Yes, that was a highly enjoyable match. I saved that famous
match ball in a very aggressive way that surprised even
myself. I went for every shot, no holds barred, I took my
chances, a succession of drop shots and volleying. And it
And of course, he still smiles thinking about his world
number one ranking, which he reached for the first time in
January 2004 – after he reached his first World Open final
in Pakistan in December 2003 against Shabana.
“For months and months I was working hard to try to be as
consistent as possible, to keep a good points average on the
circuit, to reach that number one position.
anecdote: in July 2003 I was training in Tignes, high in the
mountains, and I remember taking a funicular on my own, up
to 3,300m, and writing on a stone “world number 1.
"That ranking, that status, I wanted it. Bad.”
Thierry keeps excellent
memories of England and Egypt in particular.
“I would like to thank England really, as I improved
my game so much at the start of my career when I used to
stay in Wallingford, at
gave me the opportunity to train with high quality players,
and also to play my first National League matches. Then, I
did very well in that country, winning a fair number of
tournaments there. England inspired me in shaping my game
and fighting spirit.
“I’m also grateful to Egypt for what I learned during my
frequent travels to Cairo, and I have a special thought for
all those players with whom I trained and who helped enrich
The “Guv” doesn’t forget who made him who is today, both
professionally and from a personal point of view.
“So many people to thank – I am probably forgetting a few:
first, coaches, Ludovic Bassora, Bernard Barabé, then my
mentors, my “masters”,
Paul Sciberras and Franck Carlino,
faithful companions for 20 years, thanks to whom I reached
“The French Federation, for all the logistic support they
brought me since an early age.
Claude Duhart, my first ever
sponsor, who helped me to get on the pro circuit.
friends who supported and helped me train in La Réunion,
when I used to get my training programs from my coaches via
faxes! And not forgetting my faithful sparring partners,
Renan Lavigne, Julien Balbo, Isa Stoehr, and of course Greg
“Then there is my main sponsor
international recognition went hand to hand with mine, and
with whom I’ve been working now for 12 years.
“We finish with those who have been guiding me for years,
parents and my brother, with their infallible love and
And my rock, my Commander, Céline my wife, and my
daughters, Jade & Paola, my energy source."
Of course he is proud of his
career achievements, but he feels he has other sources of
pride as well.
“First of all, let me say how proud I was to have been
chosen by WSF to present the 2016 Olympic Bid in Lausanne.
That was a fantastic experience.
Also, a few more people in
the world have now heard of my birth place, Réunion Island…
“Squash also allowed me to discover so many countries, and
to be a better man through the diversity of the
extraordinary people I have met over the years. And thanks
to Squash, I even discovered France, through so many clubs
scattered all over!
“I spent so many great moments with my
Club Teams, with the
French Team, thanks to my team partners, team managers and
National Coaches, John Elstob and André Delhoste.
“I would like to wish good luck to Renan in his new job as
French national coach, to Greg to clinch that World Title,
and a beautiful medal for France in Mulhouse 2013, where I
will meet my supporters and friends, and defend French
colours for the last time.”