New Zealand’s world No.10 Paul Coll came back from a set down for a win in the quarter-finals of US$120,500 China Open in Shanghai overnight and has set himself up a clash with the top seed.
Coll defeated Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi in a thrilling five-game battle which now has him into the semifinals of the gold status PSA event.
The Kiwi and Qatari pair were meeting for the third time on the PSA Tour and it was a high-octane clash from the off as both players entertained spectators with some fast-paced squash.
Coll, who had won both of their previous matches, took the opener 11-7 but he was unable to put away his opponent in the second as world No.28 Al Tamimi responded to draw level.
The Qatari No.1 looked on the verge of an unlikely victory when he struck in the third game to take the lead for the first time but Coll continued to battle in a tight fourth game, pulling away from 7-7 to draw level.
The Kiwi closed out the fifth against a tiring Al Tamimi to earn a coveted spot on the glass court in the semi-finals. The overall match taking 65 minutes for a score of 11-7, 9-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-5.
“It was a tough one because yesterday I was being very positive and hitting the ball well and because he’s so attacking I went a bit passive and defensive in my hitting,” said Coll.
“Joelle (King) told me to control the ’T’ more, hit through the ball and be a bit more aggressive, just in my basic game. If he’s controlling the pace then it’s a nightmare to deal with. He played ridiculous squash but I was a bit defensive in my own hitting.
“I was feeling my heart-rate [in the fifth] and he was flying around the court so I thought that if I was feeling it then he was definitely feeling it as well. It’s just a matter of being tough and fighting, especially at the start of the games.”
Coll’s plays top seed and world No.5 Simon Rosner of Germany next for a place in the grand final. The pair have played previously on three occasions with the German leading two games to one.
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 11-7, 9-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-5 (65m)