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Paul Coll Wins Big Title In London

New Zealand squash pro, Paul Coll has won his first title since 2016 with a victory at the Canary Wharf Classic PSA Gold tournament today after defeating Egypt’s Tarek Momen in the final.

Coll beat the world No.3 in straight games, to maintain his record of not losing a game throughout the entire tournament.

Coll took a big lead in the first game, only for Momen to bounce back and tie it at 8-8. However, the Kiwi was able to win the last three points to take the early lead in the match.

The second game followed suit, with Momen dragging it back after surrendering an early deficit. This time, though, Coll took the game on a tie-break.

The third was much easier, as the world No.7 lost just three points to Momen, who appeared drained on court whereas Coll had a spring in his step as he moved closer to the title and an eventual victory 11-8, 12-10, 11-3 in 63 minutes.

For Coll from Greymouth on the West Coast it was his first title since 2016 at the VAS tournament in England over the same opponent in the final..

“It feels amazing, it really does. It is such a prestigious tournament, and there are such phenomenal names on the trophy and to be a part of that is something special,” Coll admitted. “I have played this tournament three times, and I felt like I have played well every year. I love coming here, it is such a well organised event.

“I have been trying to make some improvements for a while now, and I really felt them come into my game in the World Championships. I felt quite strong on court. In Toronto, I just lost out in the final and that really hurt me. I took a big knock there, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to back that up this week.

“My coach just told me to get out there and keep performing. I was confident in my squash and as long as I could get my head right this week, I was confident and I am really happy with the squash and also mentally, to stay strong for the entire event.

“I could never match him [Momen] at the front of the court, with the skills and the flicks that he has got. It is really incredible what he can do with the ball, and from all sorts of positions on the court. I had to be aware of that, and try to contain him as much as I possibly could and use my speed to soak the pressure up, and then apply pressure on him.”

Coll now takes a short break before playing his next PSA event in the Netherlands next month.

Coll’s final words of his trophy speech was a message to Christchurch where he had attended high school.

“Just to everyone back home in Christchurch, kia kaha, stay strong. It is a horrible thing that has happened to New Zealand and that was for you, and for everyone in Christchurch tonight. Stay strong guys!”

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