9 Oct 2017

Big win for Coll at US Open

3:16 pm on 9 October 2017

New Zealand squash player Paul Coll has pulled off one of the biggest scalps of his career by beating world number two and top seed Karim Abdel Gawad in the first round of the U.S Open in Philadelphia.

New Zealand squash player Paul Coll

New Zealand squash player Paul Coll Photo: Supplied

Coll, the world number 10, forced Gawad into a battle of attrition as he came through a close first game 11-8 before doubling his advantage courtesy of a comfortable 11-3 second game.

26-year-old Gawad fought back in the third game as he began to find his rhythm but Coll rallied in the fourth to claim the win.

"It's definitely one of the most significant wins of my career," said Coll.

"I've known for a long time that I'd be playing him. I've been working really hard during the off-season and I'm cashing in on some of that now - to beat someone like him in round one is huge.

"I stuck to my game plan and trusted in what I was doing. I knew he'd come out hard in the third but I got back into it in the fourth and hit the right lines and length.

"But I have to stay grounded. I can't just be happy with that win, there's plenty of squash left in this event and I want to go further."

Coll will now go up against another Egyptian, former World No.3 Omar Mosaad, in the second round.