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Two Kiwis In British Open Quarter-finals

Two New Zealand players have confirmed their places in the quarter-finals of the prestigious British Squash Open after wins this morning.

Fourth seed Paul Coll played a late match to defeat Egyptian Fares Dessouky (Egypt) in four games to equal his best appearance, while Joelle King didn’t drop a game in her third round win over England’s Alison waters.

Coll controlled the first two games, against the difficult Dessouky who battled back in the third, showcasing some of his shot making abilities as he pulled a game back.

A blood injury to Dessouky at the end of the third caused a stoppage, but world No.6 Coll kept a cool head and did not let it affect his concentration as he pounced on a number of unforced errors from the Egyptian to close out an 11-5, 11-7, 11-9 11-5 victory in 66 minutes.

“I think I just closed the court down and tried to have that intensity,” 27-year-old Coll. “Anything volley height he can put away like no-one else and I guess in the third there were two flat rollers, which I have never hit in my life! He is such a talented player that I had to use my head and really focus on my tactics to close him down.

Coll will now face Egypt’s Mazen Hesham on Saturday morning NZT for a place in the semi-finals. The pair have never played a competition match before.

“He [Hesham] has a similar sort of style to Dessouky, but I have got a great team here this week and it’s wicked to have some home support.”

Earlier women’s No.5 seed King eased into her fifth quarter-final with a solid performance over Waters.

King claimed the inaugural Manchester Open title just over a week ago and she was in top form once again in Hull as she executed her game plan to perfection, to keep the experienced Waters at bay and close out an 11-4, 11-8, 11-6 victory in 32 minutes.

“I felt much more focused today,” said the 30-year-old from the Waikato. “I have played Al so many times, when we were four or five in the world and I definitely had to be at my best tonight. I didn’t make many errors and didn’t give much away so I’m happy with that performance.

“Normally I would like the hotter conditions and the bouncier court, but I’ve worked hard at trying to improve my short game and my overall squash and I’m now starting to like the colder conditions.”

King now takes on world No.3 Nour El Tayeb after the Egyptian played out a five game win over Annie Au from Hong Kong in her third round match. King and El Tayeb are 4-4 in head-to-head contests with King winning their last encounter in straight games on her way to the Hong Kong title late last year. Their quarter-final will be played Saturday morning NZT.


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