Name: Stephen Coppinger
Date of Birth: 24th September 1984
World Ranking: 23
World Series Ranking: 13
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Residence: Cape Town, South Africa
Racquet: MANTIS Power 110
Sponsors: LASER Logistical Solutions
Coach: David Plamer and Rodney Durbach
Interests: Kitesurfing, wakeboarding, reading & travelling
Clubs/Teams: Fish Hoek & Duffield
Biography: Stephen Coppinger joined the PSA in 2006 and made steady progress up the PSA world rankings. But after languishing in the lower section of the top 30 for most of last year, he leapt into the top 20 in February this year, then raced to a career-high No16 in June.
The achievement made him the first South African to make the men’s world top 20 since the late 70s.
Now firmly established as the leading South African on the PSA World Tour, Coppinger boasts seven Tour titles and celebrated his 15th Tour final appearance in Guatemala in May.
Coppinger collected the maiden title of his career at the Buler Challenge Cup in 2007 in Hong Kong – where, unseeded, he beat top-seeded HK player Wai Hang Wong in the final.
His latest – and biggest - Tour title triumph came in April 2011 at the Hibiscus Gardens Open in Australia, a PSA Challenger 15 event in Brisbane. Coppinger fulfilled his seeding by beating New Zealand’s No2 seed Martin Knight 11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8 in the final.
But he began his 2013 campaign in impressive style – upsetting fifth seed Peter Barker in the first round of the Tournament of Champions in New York before claiming his career-first win over England's Adrian Grant to earn his first ever appearance in the last eight of a PSA World Series event.
"Last year, I was just happy to qualify for the main draw here. But this year, I have the extra belief; I feel like I belong here and I can play with these guys," said Coppinger at the time – crediting his training with former world champion David Palmer for the significant improvement during the past year, in his game and his mind-set.
The inspired South African next month reached the final of the Windy City Open in Chicago – and in May notched up the 15th final of his career at the Internacional Sporta Open in Guatemala City.
The match was a battle with David Palmer-stable-mate Miguel Angel Rodriguez, the Colombian who is also making rapid strides up the world rankings. Rodriguez prevailed 11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 11-0.
Away from the Tour, Coppinger marked his fourth successive appearance for South Africa in the World Team Championship in France in June – and led the team to a sixth place finish.