Kiwi squash player Paul Coll has caused a big upset in the first round the US$165,000 men’s draw at the US Open in Philadelphia.
Coll ranked 10th in the world but unseeded at the tournament faced the top seed and current world No.2 Karim Abdel Gawad of Egypt but put on another typical gritty display to win their first round clash in 74 minutes in four games.
Originally from Greymouth, Coll won 11-8 11-3 6-11 11-8 and called the victory one of his best.
"It's definitely one of the most significant wins of my career. I've known for a long time that I'd be playing him and I prepared hard for it and set my game plan. I’ve been working really hard during the off-season and I’m cashing in and it’s going really well. I stuck to my game plan and trusted in what I was doing. I knew he'd come out hard in the third but I got back into it in the fourth and hit the right lines and length.”
"To beat someone like him in round one is huge. But I have to stay grounded. I can't just be happy with that win, there's plenty of squash left in this event and I want to go further.”
Coll now faces 31st ranked Omar Mosaad from Egypt in the second round.
Meanwhile in the US$165,000 US Open women’s draw fellow Kiwi Joelle King who is the 11th seed beat qualifier Milou van der Heijden from the Netherlands in straight games 11-3 13-11 11-8. King will play the tournament third seed and world No.2 Camille Serme of France in the second round.
Amanda Landers-Murphy was unable to get past Nouran Gohar of Egypt going down in 4 to the number 5 seed 11-2, 13-11, 4-11, 11-7.
The tournament runs from 7-15 October, hosted at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Event page on PSA can be found here.
Women’s first round
(11) Joelle King (New Zealand) bt Milou van der Heijden (Netherlands) 11-3 13-11 11-8 (34m)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt. [Q] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 11-2, 13-11, 4-11, 11-7 (33m)
Men’s first round
Paul Coll (New Zealand) bt (1) Karim Abdel Gawad (Egypt) 11-8 11-3 6-11 11-8 (74m)