Thierry Lincou They Said

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Semaine Thierry Lincou
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I'd 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 good rest.

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 YEP)

This 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 his play.

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 professionals.

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 decade.

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.

Thierry Lincou is a true gentleman and a athlete on and off the court. His sportsmanship was one to take note from and it was a pleasure playing against him. The squash world will surely miss him...

Thierry-- congrats on your career and the retirement and thanks for the many enjoyable matches.

Enjoy the States and even more important...enjoy the family life now!

All the best mate


A brutal one:
La Réunion

The final of the Reunion Open 2011 which I won 3/2 (5/11 11/5 11/4 10/12 15/13 - 112m)

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 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 :)

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 life!

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 Palmer...etc.

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!!

"The Tecnifibre team in 2010 at St.Georges Hill doing a shoot together...
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 wit
hout break including Jahangir and Jansher Khan, Peter Nicol and David Palmer.

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 Thierry.

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 he is.

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 career".

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.

Where it all started... An old building transformed in a squash court

I 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 down”!

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 me.

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 old ninja.

No more track, no more gym, no more ghosting. You can relax! Enjoy it, man.=

Danke schön, thank you, merci....... for many many fantastic squash years!!!

Wish you all the best in life for you and your family!!!

bye bye gentlemen.....

Would just like to say I am honoured to have met and spent time with not only one of the greatest athletes ever, but a true gentlemen and honest competitor.

If ever a young person chooses to play sport, then look no further than Thierry lincou as a role model.

His never say die attitude and his honesty and humilty is what has made Thierry one of the most respected and loved players in our game.

I hope our paths cross again. Well done my friend. Or as you said to me once, 'amitiés' and enjoy your retirement :)


I'm sorry for Lincou. He will for sure be the rest of his life rellated with squash.

He will be an amazing coach, a tournament organiser, heck, he'll be WSF President!!!!


Bonne chance.... All the best Legend!


It's sad to see Titi calling it a day. I have such admiration for him.

I first came across him in 2005 when he and Greg came to Malaysia to acclimatise to the weather before the HK Open. We did a charity event here - Squashing Child Abuse. People paid to play with the pros, and Titi played with our local celebrity radio DJ Anon.
Though I never got to know Titi well, I've always saw him as a disciplined ambassador of the game.

The manner which he treats his opponents, being fair, to the referees, right up to tucking his shirt in. He's just simply a gentleman.



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 against you..

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 your family.

kinda sad to learn that Thierry Lincou is retiring... end of an era..... Will "Chaka" Mather....What a legend... Deepak Mawar..... Big loss for squash world...Ammar Altamimi.... What a sad day .. You are and always be remembered as a Great Champ... We will miss you and we will sure miss your smile.... Reeme Mansi....

Obviously 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 Reunion Island.

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 few.

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!

Titi, he knows that his professionalism and accuracy will be missed for sure. No one will ever be as professional and strong as this guy.

We played a lot of times and every time, he showed me how strong accurate and professional he was ,. till the age of 36.

I love u titi .,/. we had great times ,. but we
'll be seeing each other a lot. I wish you can still play for like 5 more years :)) ,.

what a super star
you are, and you'll always be, son

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!)

Thierry 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 his debt.

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 on there!!!!

I wish him happiness, success for his new entreprises, for him and his family.





It was an honour and a pleasure to say I played squash against the great Thierry Lincou.

His career has been phenomenal and I don't know what was more impressive, his World Open win and World number 1 or the quality of his squash at 36 years old?!

He will be missed on tour as he was liked by everyone. On court he was extremely hard to play, his intensity and focus never wavering.

I enjoyed every minute playing against him, not only because he was such a fair player who respected his opponent and referee, but also because of the recent battles we had! (the Bluenose final will go down as one of my favourite ever matches and I lost!)

I wish him and his family well for the next chapter. I hope they get the happiness and success they deserve.

"Go back to nearly fifteen years ago and a French player was sitting quietly in the corner, head in a textbook, studying while winning the World University title, even though he was already an established PSA Tour player. That summed Thierry up – diligent.

And that has shone through in his squash career in terms of professionalism and attention to detail.

"But more than this his on-court success – what an outstanding record – has been matched with his personality ranking. Right up there at the top too! Friendly, supportive, an infectious all round superb ambassador for his sport, his country and inspirational for everybody who has come into contact with him.

"Now he winds down from the Tour we can only be grateful that he will not be lost to our sport so simply salute a great player and great guy; and wish him and his family every happiness as they move into the next chapter.



"Its a sad day, Legend Thierry lincou retiring at the age of 36.

Amazing honesty, respectfulness, sportsmanship, character and an exceptional fighting spirit on and off court, I have genuinely learned a lot from him...

A great loss for the Squash world."

A true Sportsman and a consistent Pro. A fitting tribute. Good Luck the Samurai

Thierry Lincou 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 retirement.

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 him play.

Great loss to the tour. #legend

Thierry Lincou a great Idol for Squash players,

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

Wishing Thierry all the best in future!!

Great guy on and off court!! Could never beat him which a
nnoyed me most!!

stay in touch TITI!

Sad to see Thierry Lincou retiring, one of the legends who will be missed on tour.

Wish you best of luck in Boston.

Thierry Lincou was an outstanding ambassador for the professional game.

Humble and modest, he also possessed a brilliant squash brain and phenomenal determination.

He was one of the best athletes squash has ever produced, and used those powers to great effect with some outstanding comeback wins from seemingly hopeless positions.

My favourite performance by Thierry was in the final of the Liverpool Open in 2006, when he fought back from 2-0 down against David Palmer to win 3-2 in 85 minutes, with the whole match broadcast live on Sky Sports.

Good luck with everything in the future, especially with your family and whatever business you end up enriching with your calm, cool professionalism.

Au revoir, Thierry.

It was always a delight to see Thierry play.

First time I saw him was the Finnish Open '98, when he on first round beat Olli Tuominen (FI), then Stuart Cowie (SCO), but lost to Juha Raumolin in the semis.

I remember, how I admired the power, athleticism and smoothness of his movement then, and it has given him great results.

All the best to Thierry and his family in the new life!


PS. The attached picture is from Thierry's winning match against Stuart Cowie in '98 (between the balls, so not very dynamic, sorry:()

"Thierry has been one of the true stars of the PSA World Tour and an outstanding ambassador for the sport. We wish him well in his future life - he will be truly missed!"

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 Lincou.

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 Lincou's.

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 Mr. Lincou's!?

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 others.

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'
(thanks guys for the credit)


I 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 was admirable.

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.


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