New Zealand squash pro Paul Coll has made a good start to the US$160,000 Hong Kong World Series tournament this evening.
Coll ranked ninth in the world beat Indian qualifier Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu in the first round 9-11 11-3 11-5 11-1 in 44 minutes and felt that sticking to his game plan worked well.
"We had played before in a non-PSA tournament in New Zealand, so I knew what he was capable of. He's got great skills and if you give him time he can put the ball away, so I knew I had to be on my game. In the first, he didn't miss much until about 8-7, but he closed it out well. I feel I got in front of him a bit more in the next three and maybe he felt it a bit more physically," said the 25-year-old Greymouth born player "I was focusing on my game and what works for me. I stuck to my guns, tried to close the court down and tried to bring the physical aspect into it. It's a fast court, so I thought that I could pick up a few balls and put a lot of pressure on and then use the front of the court when he was loose.
Coll now takes on top seed and world No.1 Gregory Gaultier of France in the second round on Thursday. "It's going to be a tough battle [against Gregory Gaultier], I've played him a few times now and it never gets easier. He looks like he has come back strong from his injury, so I'm expecting a good physical battle, a high intensity match and I'm really looking forward to it."
Meanwhile in the US$140,000 Hong Kong women's draw Joelle King from the Waikato plays Egyptian qualifier Nadine Shahin in the first round on Wednesday (NZ time). King is seeded 10th for the tournament but has a current ranking of No.9 in the world.
The last four tournaments for King have seen good results with a semifinal finish at the China Open, final at the Macau Open, semifinal at the US Open and final at the Carol Weymuller Open.