Kiwi hope Paul Coll primed for British Squash Open

Kiwi squash star Paul Coll enters the British Open, ranked 16th in the world.
PSA

Kiwi squash star Paul Coll enters the British Open, ranked 16th in the world.

New Zealand squash player Paul Coll is set to make an impact in the prestigious British Squash Open in Hull this week.

Last year Coll came through qualify to make the main draw before falling in five games to Australian Ryan Cuskelly in the first round.

This time the Canterbury player is in the main draw now that he is ranked 16th in the world after impressive results over the past four months, including winning the big Channel VAS Championship in England. He is challenging and sometimes beating the world's best.

Joelle King, New Zealand's top women's squash player, is ranked ninth in the world.
ROBERT KITCHIN/Fairfax NZ

Joelle King, New Zealand's top women's squash player, is ranked ninth in the world.

Coll, 24, who hails from Greymouth, will face British qualifier Declan James, ranked 36th, in a tough first up contest at the British Open.

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"I played him [James] about two or three years ago in New Zealand and he beat me so I'll be looking forward to beating him this time on his soil. I'm really excited to play this one.

"I think it will be Tuesday my time I'm really looking forward to it. People will be able to see it on Squash TV as well and be able to tune in and see how I get on. The British Open is a very prestigious event for us, apart from the world open it's the best tournament to win."

If Coll gets through his first round encounter he is likely to face eighth seed Tarek Momen from Egypt in the second round and he is aware of how difficult his draw could be.

"I definitely look ahead, but I'll take it from my first match and see how it goes and after that who knows"

The New Zealander has seen has ranking cut in half since December and has gained respect on the tour as well as boosted his bank account.

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"I was in the mid 30's in December and had some good tournaments in December and January and have improved from there it's been a good couple of months for me. It was a hard road when I wasn't winning any tournaments, it's a good feeling to have some money coming in. It all makes it a bit easier."

Also competing in the British Open is Joelle King from the Waikato.

King, ranked ninth in the world, has a rich history in the tournament having been a quarter-finalist for four consecutive years 2012-15 and being a fourth see on a number of occasions. The 28-year-old missed the 2016 Open through injury and is pleased to be back at the tournament.

King will face a yet-to-be confirmed qualifier in her first round match.

It is the first time there is equal prizemoney for the women's event. A total prizepool of US$150,000 is on offer for both the men's and women's draws.

 

 - Stuff

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