Coll Beaten In Five Games In British Open Semis26 May 2019
So close, but so far for Kiwi squash pro, Paul Coll in the semifinals of the British Squash Open against world No.1 Ali Farag of Egypt.
With the odds against him in head-to-head matches Coll took the match to Farag who had won the last seven meeting between the pair, including having beaten Coll four times in the 2018-2019 season.
The first game showed their contrasting styles, but it was Coll that took the advantage. Farag had to save three game balls to stay in it, but the Kiwi was able to win the tiebreak to take the early lead with a 12-10 scoreline.
Farag won the second game 11-7, before reeling off six straight points in the third for an 11-4 game. But Coll, as so often is the case, would not give up that easily.
The fifth seed and world No.6 from Greymouth on the West Coast took the fourth game after saving two match balls, winning it 12-10, before then taking an early lead in the fifth and deciding game.
However, it wasn’t to be as Farag had just enough to get himself over the line, with the top ranked player booking a place in his maiden British Open final. The final score 10-12, 11-7, 11-4, 10-12, 11-7 in 77 minutes.
In what has already been regarded as the match of the tournament Farag was full of praise and exhausted afterwards.
“It is unfair to talk about it [this match] in just a few sentences. It is one of those matches that you are going to remember forever,” Farag admitted. “Win or lose, you would have been proud to have been a part of it. I think Paul and I represented our sport very well and we did our sport proud. ”
For 27-year-old Coll the next tournament is set to be the PSA World Tour Finals in Cairo, Egypt where the top eight ranked players take part. That ends the international season before he returns to New Zealand for the national champs at Unitec in Auckland 27-30 June.