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New Zealand’s Paul Coll is the Open de France, Nantes 2019 champion after getting the better of Wales’ Joel Makin in the final at the Chateau des ducs de Bretagne.

The Kiwi ran out the winner in straight games, but it took over 70 minutes in typical ‘Superman’ fashion. In part, that came down to a mammoth first game, which lasted over 26 minutes. Coll took it on a tie-break to take the momentum into the rest of the match.

The second saw the World No.6 dominate his Welsh counterpart, restricting the ‘Golden Tiger’ to just three points, as he doubled his lead in the match. He then went out into a big lead in the fourth, holding a 9-4 advantage.

However, the Welsh No.1 was able to fight back, winning five straight points to tie level in the game at 9-9. It would be Coll that went on to win the game, and the match, though, to lift his second title of the calendar year.

“I was very happy with my performance, it was probably my best squash all week which is what you want to do. It was almost like a new event this evening because I only got four or five hours sleep, so mentally I had to be on it today.” Coll explained.

“Joel played really well today but I am happy with my performance and you cannot get better than starting the season with a victory at the first chance.

“I led most of the first game so if I let that slip it would have been a real momentum killer for me. I probably should have closed it out a bit easier, but he came back very strong. I think it was key for me, especially because I was in front for the majority of it, so it would have been flattening had I lost it.

“He was tired, but I honestly think he played his best squash well. He was aggressive and I was probably a bit passive because I thought I had already won. He played his best from 9-4 down which was a bit annoying. I am very happy to close it out in three because it would have been a very tough push to get going again in a fourth.”

The final score 12-10, 11-3, 11-9 in 72 minutes. His next tournament is the US Open in Philadelphia at the beginning of next month.


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