New Zealand squash players Paul Coll and Joelle King have won through to the quarter-finals of the Manchester Squash Open but in different circumstances to make the last eight.
In the first PSA squash tournament for six months after the Covid-19 shutdown, defending champion 31-year-old King defeated England’s, Lucy Turmel ranked 52nd in the world in straight games 11-4, 11-5, 11-5. The world No.8 Kiwi was in fine form in the match looking strong off the forehand side and keeping her focus as the game finished in 31 minutes.
For fifth seed Coll it was a very different scoreline in his win over 12th ranked Fares Dessouky of Egypt.
Coll, 28 wasted no time getting into his stride winning the first game 11-7, but it was the Egyptian taking the second with some attacking volleys to the fore. The third game was won with more ease as Coll found his rhythm again, however the erratic Egyptan was not giving up and found himself in the lead after plenty of conjecture and questioning of officials.
With Coll ahead 9-8 in the fourth game the Kiwi dived in the backhand corner leaving a sweat patch on the floor which Dessouky said he could slipped on and stopped the rally a few shots later.
The referee denied the let saying Dessouky should have stopped immediately after the dive. The Egyptian lost control slamming the ball into the tin to give Coll match ball. Dessouky did fight back to win another few points, but Coll was not to be denied the victory 11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 12-10 in 59 minutes.
“My coach gave me a rocket because I was way too slow in the first game and I just wanted to focus on my first step and make sure that was a lot more aggressive,” said Coll after the match. “I felt I did that at the start (against Dessouky), it was a bit scrappy, but I think because of that aggressive mindset I managed to get a lead and close it out.”
Coll will now play Egyptian Tarek Momen who defeated him in the world championship finals last year scheduled for Monday morning New Zealand time.
For King her victory over Turmel was a good build up for her next clash which is against top seed and world No.3 Camille Serme (France).
“Lucy had a big win in the first round so I was aware she was playing good squash and also she’s coach by Laura (Massaror) who is in my team as well,” said King. “I was well aware of the dangers she possesses. I just wanted to stamp my authority on the game. There were a couple of blips where I came off it a little bit but it didn’t linger for too long which is really positive. I felt really good out there and look forward to the next round.”