Squash Open 2024 Jason le Roux and Tristen Worth

Tristen Worth regained the men’s title at the Nelson Mandela University Open squash tournament by outduelling teammate Reuel Videler in the final over the weekend.

The 22-year-old NWU student won the gruelling encounter 3-1 after eventually running his opponent ragged on the Crusaders courts in Gqeberha.

A courageous Videler, 21, never gave up the fight in 42 minutes of cut and thrust that ended in a 11-8 8-11 11-5 11-9 scoreline.

In the women’s section, Eastern Province’s Kacey-Leigh Dodd survived a gripping five-game contest against Lara Patrick of UP-Tuks.

Dodd, who plays for Londt Park, was under pressure as her 22-year-old rival took a 2-1 lead following scintillating stroke play.

But the 28-year-old top seed used the break before the fourth game to regroup and surged ahead in the remaining games for an 11-6 9-11 8-11 11-6 11-6 victory.

Worth, who, like Videler and Patrick, grew up in East London, was pleased with his second title after losing to his teammate in the recent North West Closed.

“So that was a bit of revenge,” he smiled. “We don’t often play each other in tournaments outside of North West so this was a nice win for me.

Squash Open 2024 Jason le Roux and Tristen Worth

Tournament director Jason le Roux, left, congratulates North-West University’s Tristen Worth after he won the Nelson Mandela University Open men’s squash title at Crusaders in Gqeberha on Sunday. Photo: Supplied

“You really have to be on top of your game because he likes to force you into hitting the ball in mid-court, where, with his height, he can take just one step to get to the ball.”

Worth used his speed to keep working his opponent, taking him to all four corners.

“When I play Reuel, it’s a matter of focusing on getting it very high or low, or long and short, so he has to work for his points.

“This was a very strong field so it’s really good to come away with another title.”

The NMU Open served as a selection event for the USSA national team, who will take part in the World University Squash Championships in Johannesburg this September.

Dodd was delighted to win the title at her first attempt.

“It was a really good tournament and nice to play some fresh faces in the young university players, who are so physical and who work so hard on their games,” she said.

“I can see that Lara has put a lot of work into her squash and her shotmaking ability has improved sixfold since I last played her a few years ago.”

Dodd said she had to remind herself to go back to basics after controlling the first game and then conceding the next two.

“Sometimes I tend to lose focus but, when I came out for the fourth, I hit one or two hard balls just to settle the jitters and from then it was a matter of controlling the nerves.

“You always know it will be a tough grind against Lara because she never stops trying,” Dodd, who underwent knee surgery last year, said. “I’m happy I was able to keep my head strong in the last game.”