Kuhn’s purple patch continues

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John Kuhn PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

The Bloemfontein local, John Kuhn’s, purple patch on the squash court has continued after clinching a second big title in less than a month.

The 20-year-old player who is now living in George in order to complete his studies, won the Madibaz Open, at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

The left-handed Kuhn, won the title during his first attempt.

Recently, Kuhn won the Jesters U23 National title in Johannesburg in what was his first major tournament of the year. While Kuhn conceded that he was nervous heading into the Jesters tournament, he did reign supreme with a rather comfortable victory in the final.

Kuhn, did however have to dig a lot deeper on Sunday to edge Rudi van Niekerk in a final that was described as titanic.

Van Niekerk won the first game, but Kuhn was able to level matters in a close second game, and then took the third for a 2-1 lead.

Van Niekerk, who was playing in his third straight final at the Madibaz Open, remained composed and managed to level the match by clinching the fourth game, and ultimately setting up a huge decider in the fifth.

Kuhn worked his way through the tight fifth game and held the ascendancy at 10-8 with two match points. Van Niekerk was not ready to throw in the towel and managed to level that game at 10-10. He then manged to save a third match point, but Kuhn got the upper to clinch the title with a 13-11 win in the fifth game.

Kuhn will be in action this week during the 2018 Free State Squash Closed tournament in Bloemfontein at the St. Andrew’s Squash courts. The tournament organisers were able to accommodate Kuhn for the tournament, which is an important event heading into the 2018 Jarvis Kaplin Cup.

Kuhn is the top seed in the A section for the tournament in the City of Roses. The remaining seeds are Tremayne McDonald, Garrett Amm, Keegan Waugh, Richard Rodrigues, Kyle Kitching, Lenny Kretzmann and Jordan Waugh. – MORGAN PIEK