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Good Start For Coll And King At British Open

A mixed day for the three New Zealand players competing in the second round of the British Squash Open in Hull.

After a first round bye Joelle King and Paul Coll both scored wins to progress but the scores of their matches were completely different while Campbell Grayson had a tough loss in his match.

King seeded fifth for the tournament eased through against Malaysia’s Low Wee Wern in straight games 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 in just 28 minutes, but men’s fourth seed Paul Coll took a gruelling 87 minutes in his four game win over Welshman, Joel Makin 9-11, 11-8, 11-9 11-4.

Auckland’s Grayson was aiming for another upset as he lined up against the defending champion and sixth seed Miguel Rodriguez (Colombia) and was in the match all the way, however the end result went to the South American 11-3, 12-10, 7-11, 11-4 in 61 minutes.

But for Coll the win was an expected battle with a player he knows well.

I have massive respect for Joel. He is such a hard trainer. The work he has put in is credit to where he is this season and I have massive respect for him.

“I’m extremely happy with this season. I have had some really good wins and I have improved a bit in my squash. I’m really enjoying my game and I’m looking forward to trying to finish off a good season. I knew today was going to be a big test and I’m pleased to pass that one.

He now plays Egyptian Fares Dessouky in the third round who has a 2-1 head-to-head record against, having won their last encounter at the world champs earlier this year.

Meanwhile King who won the Manchester Open last week was always wary of her opponent after having a long history against the Malaysian.

“It’s kind of a throwback to juniors, when we used to play a lot,” said 30-year-old King. “I was actually on the receiving end of a lot of losses at that time. You talk about someone coming back from something horrific, she is a bit of an inspiration. I had an injury myself, but I don’t think it compares to what she has been through. I had a pretty smooth run back and she has faced hurdles over and over again to keep coming back, that’s a lot of mental strength. It’s nice to have her back and well done to her.

“I think sometimes when you win a title it is easy to relax, so my main goal this week was to have a couple of days off and then reset. The British Open is the one, along with the World Champs, that we want to win. I’m just trying to play my best squash and we will see how far I get through the tournament.”

And King is fully aware of the history of the tournament for New Zealand.

“Susan [Devoy] is definitely not shy about reminding us all how many times she won it! All the players that have won it, it’s no easy feat to make it to the final, let alone get over the hurdle of winning this title, so hopefully one day.”

King plays 10th seed Alison Waters (England) in the third round. Their head-to-head the results are 5-5, although King has won the two most recent matches.


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