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just like to wish you well in your retirement. It's been a
magnificent career, and not many people will quite
understand how much it takes to maintain the levels of
athleticism and skill you achieved -and what is more well in
to your thirties - in one of the toughest sports. |
Some incredible achievements for you to look back on. Have a
Many players will no doubt be relieved not to have to scrape
any more of those clinging backhand drives off the wall..!
It’s farewell to another
legend of our game
by James Willstrop (courtesy
week we learnt of the retirement of a PSA stalwart,
Frenchman Thierry Lincou.
Upon hearing the news and having battled on squash courts
all over the world with him for years, it sends off a vague
alarm bell somewhere in the recesses of my mind that each
one of us must, at some stage, face our own retirement date.
Lincou, now 36, is considered one of the ultimate
“professional” squash players. He is from the small French
island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean. Neither the island
nor France had prior record at world levels in the sport,
making his achievements over the years simply staggering.
His levels of application and professionalism have been an
example to all and yielded one World Championship title and
a year holding the top ranking in the world.
He has maintained a top 10 ranking up until now – which
considering most people think that 32 or 33 is an old age
for squash – is remarkable.
I remember having a practice hit with Lincou at one event
when I was younger and was struck by the sheer quality of
Every hit of the ball, every movement he made in that 45
minutes alone was applied with a level of commitment that
made other pros’ practice sessions look like play school.
Apart from all this, Lincou has been a genuine and popular
person, and a nice man, respected by all of his fellow
He is the second legend to retire in the last year: David
Palmer, twice a world champion, finished in style at the
World Championships in Rotterdam, at one of the finest
venues squash has ever seen in front of a massive crowd.
In fact Palmer played Lincou in an earlier round of that
event and they both had reporters and fans alike frothing at
the mouth with what they produced.
Palmer is still involved in squash in the US and Lincou will
be moving his family there.
The ranking list will assume a new shape now these two great
players have taken their final bows and the next pretenders
will stand in line to try and emulate their achievements.
But undoubtedly very few will ever make the same impact on
the sport. All those involved with world squash wish them
the very best.
The response to Thierry's retirement is
testimony to the high regard in which he has always been held by the
squash world and small wonder.
Apart from his achievements he is a gentleman and has always
conducted himself in a manner befitting a player of his standard.
The quality of his play, his professionalism and the example he set
to others mark him as one of the most special players of the last
I doubt if he reads the Yorkshire Evening Post, but I hope he sees
James's column on Tuesday, which is a fitting tribute to him.
A brutal one:
The final of the
Reunion Open 2011 which I won 3/2 (5/11 11/5 11/4 10/12 15/13
That was the longest match I
have played in my career, it was a 112mn match!!
This was one of the most craziest matches I have ever played..it
seemed like the match wasn't ending..We were both very tired!
The match was at 3pm, it was almost 30 degrees that day..It was
humid as well and there was no AC!!
I remember that this was the only match in my career that I had to
change my t-shirt, my short, my boxer, my wristband, my headband, my
socks and my shoes during a squash match!!
That was after our Macau final in
2011 which I won 3/1 (11/13 11/5 11/5 11/7) :
This picture was taken after we got our prize money..
It's such a funny picture as straight after we got our prizes on
court, Lincou and I sat down on court counting our money making sure
it was correct and luckily it was :)
MEMORIES WITH LINCOU...
by Mohamed El Shorbagy
I am really sad to hear about Thierry Lincou's retirement!!
He is such a legend on and off court...I just used to love
watching him play, his straight length was the tightest ever..
He is such a role model for me..The way he used to handle
himself on and off court was just inspiring!!
I will always be proud that his last ever match in his
professional career was against me, That is definitely
something that I will always remember for the rest of my
The five matches that we played were all tough and I
absolutely did enjoy every single match of it...What was
interesting that every time he used to play me was always
different than the other one.. He is such a clever player,
he knew how to always confuse me on court and I always
thought he is the most player who could understand me on
court too... He could read me well.
I do think that we both enjoyed playing each other.. Also I
always felt that he always liked playing me...and the reason
for that is that all the players know that Lincou was a slow
starter.. But with me, 4 out of the 5 matches we played, he
took the 1st game and I'm like "why me Titi, why me haha"
He is and will always be one of those players that the next
generations will always be talking about and inspired by
like JK, Jansher, Peter Nicol, Jonathon Power, David
You were the 1st to put France on the squash map with being
the 1st French to win a World Open title not to mention your
World number 1 ranking which is such an amazing achievement!!
I wish you the best of luck in your next new chapter..I hope
you will have great fun in Boston and I will definitely miss
you on tour like how everyone will and I will always be
honoured and proud that I did go on court with such a great
champion like you :)
À bientôt mon ami :)
This was our first ever meeting at
the World Open 2008 in Manchester which I won 3/2 (12/10 11/6
7/11 10/12 13/11)
This match will always be special as this was my first ever time
beating a top 10 player. I didn't know what to expect in the match I
just went out there trying to win and that's it!!
After being 2/0 up I thought that't it I won the match..But I have
never in my life seen someone not giving up in a match the way he
did..He fought so hard that I never seen someone till now fighting
the way he did during this match...It wasn't his best ever
performance and he knew it during the match but he still tried and
tried and tried and I was just so lucky to win at the end.
After the match he said I was a top 10 material at least..That just
gave me the confidence that I could beat anyone after that!!
The final of the Irish open in
April 2009 where he beat me 3/0 (11/7 11/6 11/5) :
It was 5 months after I beat him at the World Open in Manchester..
I could see he wanted a revenge and that day he absolutely killed me
and gave a great squash lesson that I could never forget!!
Tecnifibre team in 2010 at St.Georges Hill doing a shoot
A memory which is definitely wont be forgotten!!"
by Ali Walker
There are many reasons why
Thierry will go down as one of the most successful players
of his generation. All you have to do is look at the numbers:
•23 PSA world tour titles from 44 finals
•world number one for fourteen consecutive months
•world champion in 2008
•11 times Frances National Champion
•he joins a select group of the worlds elite that have been
ranked in the worlds top 10 for 10 years without
break including Jahangir and Jansher Khan, Peter Nicol and
However in many ways Thierry's accomplishments come from
left field. While almost all the great players of all
generations lived within short distances of proven or soon
to be proven squash "stables" this was not the case for
Born to a French father and a mother of Chinese heritage on
the remote French Island of Reunion in the middle of the
Indian ocean, he did not come from a line or culture of
squash. Thierry had to forge a path to his greatness that
no-one prior had travelled.
In actual fact Thierry's father and friends built the first
squash court out of an old building on the island in, 10cm
too short. It was from this court that Thierry found a
childhood dream that he followed to eventually become one of
the greatest players of his time.
It becomes clear from early on in a young player's career in
such isolated circumstance that a sacrifice needs to be
made. Leaving his home and family at 17 years old to combine
study with his ambitions of greatness in the world of
squash, Thierry overcame much more than the rigours of
training, travel and competition. Many years as a teenager
of loneliness and the obvious financial struggles had to be
endured. He overcame them all to become the great champion
It should also be noted that Thierry achieved these
accomplishments whilst being a loyal and caring husband and
father. I personally know how much Thierry values his wife
Celine's support and the love of his two daughters in which
he has found so much strength through his career and will
continue to for the rest if his life.
Bearing in mind the remarkable journey to greatness it worth
bearing in mind the sporting proverb: "an athlete dies
two deaths: his ultimate one and that marking the end of his
However for Thierry has the trophy of a loving family that
neither rust nor moth shall ever tarnish.
I and many others will sorely miss his presence on the tour
and would like to take the opportunity to wish him and his
family the very best in their new lives in Boston USA.
remember meeting Thierry for the first time in 1992 in the
States on a 4 week 3 event tour, Albuquerque, Oklahoma and
Chicago. Thierry was slightly younger and lacked experience
but you could tell he was so committed.|
I will never forget he turned up the week before Albuquerque
in Mexico with no visa, he got back on the plane to France,
got a visa and returned to the US! That showed his
discipline, drive and hunger for the game.
I remember lots of players on that 92 tour looking at his
warm downs and saying “look at him, what is he doing, he has
lost in the first round 3-0 and he is do a 20 minute warm
Now I know what was going through his head as he was warming
down…"I will be world number 1, world champion and one of
the best players ever!"
Good luck Thierry and enjoy your retirement and family time
We will really miss Thierry, he
is still a legend and idol for all squash players, I have
learned a lot from him on and off the court., and he showed
me what it took to be a professional player
Wishing him all the best in Boston
Time has come to finally hang
up the rackets Titi.
You must feel sad and happy at the same time. Sad because
this sport has taken up your whole life. Happy because
you've quit on your own terms.
I can't believe how you've sustained your level for so long.
Your professionalism and willpower have been an example to
I have NEVER caught you being a bit slack or just 'spending
time on court' during some unimportant practice. Every
practice, every hit, every match, every movement was done
with ultimate purpose. It was always important.
You squeezed hard, man, and I'm sure you got every little
drop of juice out of your career. I wish you all the best
No more track, no more gym, no more ghosting. You can relax!
Enjoy it, man.=
U were such a great embassador of the game..
U have such a fair and respectable character on and off
court and I really enjoyed playing some brutal battles
U are such an idol for any squash player and u were one of
my closest friends on tour..
I wish u the best luck in your new career.. God bless u and
Thierry will be missed massively on tour.
He is a very popular guy and one that all of the players on
tour, of all ages, look up to. His professionalism is
something to be marvelled at and aspired to. I remember as a
young player I shared a room with him in Toronto one year
and noticed he had made notes on what he was going to work
on in practice the next day such was his attention to detail.
He also used to carry this portable stringing machine
everywhere with him and would restring each racket over and
over until it was the perfect tension!!
Obviously his intensity on court was amazing and I've had
some great battles with him over the years. He was famed for
his slow starts and I've won the 1st game 11-1 a couple of
times and been 5-0 up or so in the 2nd only to lose 3-1!
He was definitely one of the strongest lateral movers the
game has ever seen and along with Greg he has inspired a
whole generation of players both in France and back home in
As the years progressed we have become good friends off
court and I have got to know a man with a wicked sense of
humour and a love for fast cars!
He is one of the game's best ambassadors and will surely be
a success in his future career. Looking forward to catching
up with you in a few weeks in Boston Titi!
Thierry Lincou retiring is a
huge loss for squash fans around the world.
A true squash
master who in my view had flair and style matched only by a
His perfectionist approach to the game of squash made
him one of my most favorite players to watch.
I wish him
good luck and success in his post playing squash career.
Catch you later ThierryLincou. Have a great post #squash
life. Time to worry about those other nine now!
I first met Thierry when he was a young
16 year old coming over to South Africa to improve his game (the
same reason I went to South Africa). That was back in 1993.
I saw a guy who was keen and could be good, but never in wildest
dreams would I have predicted that he would become world champion
and world number 1! I have seen some talent in my life but Thierry's
talent was something else - desire, determination, and belief.
I saw him again some 10 years later and was amazed that not only did
he remember me, but he also remembered me being seeded above him in
a tournament in Jo'Burg!
One on the most humble guys I have ever met in my life and he
deserves absolutely EVERYTHING that he has achieved.
(Former head coach of Wycliffe college; currently head pro of
London Squash racquets Club, Ontario, Canada (Home of The Nash Cup!)
has had an exceptional career, and I would like to
congratulate him for all the successes he's had over the
years. He's been pulling the French Team behind him, he's
always shown the right way to go.
The work load he produced
was just astonishing, his discipline, both in training and
off court has always been an example.
His attention to
details, his healthy way of life, his legendary
determination let him to grab the most prestigious titles,
not to mention staying in the top 10 more than 10 years.
Thierry has brought so much to me over the years, he still
does it today, on all aspects of life, and I'm forever in
We've spent some great times together, some memorable
ones, all those years on the tour and with the French Team,
we really had a ball!
I am extremely sad to see him leaving the tour, we
are going to miss him terribly.
He was a golden sparring
partner and team mate, and we really had some huge battles
I wish him happiness, success for his new
entreprises, for him and his family.
retires... a pleasure to work with, a gentleman, a legend.
Good luck in Boston!
P.S. To cut wind noise, our interview mic has a furry
windshield. Its got fuzzy dark hair with flecks if grey.
Lovingly refer to it as the Lincou!!!
Thierry Lincou, a true squash
role model retired today.
#Squash players in the world should praise & raise their
hats for Titi
A great loss for the Squash World to hear about #ThierryLincou's
A rare individual that can't be replaced by anyone #truelegend
Sorry to hear
of Thierry's retirement.
True professional in all aspects and I will miss watching
Great loss to the tour. #legend
Thierry Lincou a great Idol for
You gonna be greatly missed in the tour, we are sure you wil
succeed in the next phase to come
A very sad goodbye to the legend that is Thierry Lincou :( a
consummate professional & a great guy...
Sure everyone will miss him on the tour
LINCOU VS RODDICK...?
by Bob Hanscom
Ironically, two of the greatest ever athletes in their
respective sports announced their retirement...TODAY! For
tennis, it was Andy Roddick. For squash, it was Thierry
Can you guess which of these two athletes received the most
mainstream press regarding their announced retirement!? Not
much to debate, as in researching the world-wild mainstream
media, one name seems to be MISSING... that of Thierry
Let's see, Roddick became a Grand Slam singles champion when
he won the title at the 2003 U.S. Open, defeating Juan
Carlos Ferrero in the finals, which currently makes him the
last North American male player to win a grand slam singles
event. Roddick has reached four other Grand Slam finals
(Wimbledon in 2004, 2005 and 2009, and the U.S. Open in
2006), losing to Roger Fderer every time. He is currently
ranked as the #22 tennis-player in the world!
Nice brief resumé, to be sure...but how does it compare with
Thierry Lincou has enjoyed considerable success at the elite
level of the game of squash, rising steadily through the
ranks since joining the professional squash circuit in 1994.
He has beaten all of the world's top squash players
including Peter Nicol, Jonathon Power, David Palmer, Lee
Beachill, James Willstrop, Nick Matthew, Shabana and many
Thierry has been one of the most consistent players on the
professional circuit – reaching the semi-finals of nine
successive PSA events in 2003 and holding the World world #1
ranking throughout 2005. In 2003. Thierry was a member of
the French team which finished runners-up to Australia at
the World Team Squash Championships. He is currently ranked
as the #10 squash-player in the world.
How do these two brief resumés compare...equal!? From this
author's point of view, Thierry's is somewhat more
impressive. So...where is/was the mainstream media when
Thierry announced his retirement?
Nice article on l'Equipe.fr
(thanks guys for the
was lucky enough to be first introduced to Thierry by Scott
when I was at Bishops Stortford and he agreed to come and
play his first National league for me in 1998. |
Not only did his individual play astonish the crowds his
support for the rest of the team and his persona off court
He came to play in the Cambridge National league team I
managed also and after a few years of seeing his play
progress you just new he was going to be one of the best. I
t’s now for us all to see how well he has done and I wish
him and his family all the very best for the next chapter of
their lives in the US.