A great start, but the result proved too difficult for Kiwi squash pro, Paul Coll in the US Open semifinals in Philadelphia
Coll, the world No.8 lost his semi to top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy of Egypt in four games in a contest which had the Kiwi sustaining a knock to the head which required bandaging and later stitches.
The blood injury for Coll sustained after being unintentionally hit by the Egyptian caused a lengthy stoppage at 10-7, however, it did not seem to disrupt the Commonwealth Games silver medallist as he went on to take the game 11-7 and then started the second brightly.
Coll took a commanding lead in the second to put him in unfamiliar territory against the Egyptian, who he has never beaten on the PSA Tour, but ElShorbagy was resilient to level the scores at 8-8 before going on to take the game.
From that moment on it was full steam ahead from the ‘Beast of Alexandria’ as he put Coll under huge pressure with the Egyptian being awarded nine strokes in the fourth before he booked his final place by an 7-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6 scoreline in 78 minutes.
For Coll who became the first Kiwi male to make a semifinal of a tournament of such standing since the 1990’s the loss was a disappointment.
"It is bitter sweet, I felt like I was playing well and handling the situation and he turned it....it's pretty frustrating really. I was playing well until a game and a half and he came back and my squash just went away from me and I don’t know where it went,” said the 26-year-old from Greymouth.
Coll is due to play in the Channel VAS Championship in the UK as his next tournament.