3 Dec 2023

Coll through to Hong Kong Open squash decider after upset

1:54 pm on 3 December 2023
Paul Coll celebrates. British Open 2022.


Paul Coll has become the first New Zealand male to reach the Hong Kong Open squah final after battling past four-time champion Mohamed ElShorbagy in an entertaining four-game encounter.

The game plan from world No.4 Coll was evident from the outset, looking to find his length and accuracy down both wings at the Xiqu Centre and it proved effective in a 11-4 11-8 7-11 11-3 win in just under an hour.

"I'm stoked," Coll said.

"I was feeling really good out there today. It's a new venue and a new location here on the harbour with a new court so I was a bit nervous to adapt to the court. I know Mohamed is very experienced and he adapts to situations very well, so I knew that I had to come out and find my length early and be aggressive like I was yesterday."

Coll was to meet World No.1 Ali Farag in the final on Sunday night.

"We've played twice this season and it has gone to 12-10 in the fifth both times, so I hope it's 12-10 to me in the fifth again tomorrow.

"We know how to play each other, we have played each other many times before, so it's going to be a good battle and I'm looking forward to it."

Coll will be back in New Zealand next week to play both the New Zealand Open and the Men's World Teams Championship in Tauranga.