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King and Coll make quarter-finals but top players await

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Two good wins for Kiwi squash players, Joelle King and Paul Coll at the PSA Platinum event in El Gouna, Egypt, but now the world’s top ranked players await them.

King and Coll had straight games victories in their third round matches of the tournament which has its main glass court in front of the Pyramids and is a hot-bed for the sport.

King beat Egypt’s Mariam Metwally getting away to a flying start, not letting her opponent get a rhythm going in the first game. She went on to take it 11-4. In the second Metwally fought back.

Metwally led for the majority of the game, as she tried to impose herself on the New Zealander. However, King came back to win it 12-10 on the tie-break, before taking the third 11-4 to win in under half an hour.

"The thing with the Egyptians is that they are so fearless, and they don’t really care who they are playing, they just really want to win. So I had to try and make it tough. I am really happy to win a tough second and then get off in three.

"I will try and get on there [the glass court] as soon as possible. The conditions are obviously very different to here. I went down last night and it was quite windy around the time that my match will be played at so it will be nice to get on there on and just feel it out."

She will now play world No.1 and defending champ Raneem El Welily who has an 11-4 head-to-head lead over King.

"We’ve [El Welily] had great, close matches recently, not just this season, but the one before as well. I’m expecting her to be very sharp and very strong as usual, and hopefully it will be a good match."

Coll followed King into the quarters after he defeated Wales’ Joel Makin in a match which lasted over an hour. Coll eventually took the first on a tie-break, after coming from behind midway through the game.

The New Zealander, who is up to a career high No.5, then put his foot down in the second, and when the Welshman started to get frustrated in the third, Coll stepped up to take the victory 12-10, 11-5, 11-7 in 65 minutes.

"I knew exactly what it would be like. We have had battles before so I knew what to expect. I just wanted to focus on my game, I knew if I could play good squash, my best squash, I could do the job. Mentally I had to say calm. He got a bit frustrated in the third and I felt like I could take advantage.

"It looks fun on there. It is a new challenge and I love challenges, and challenging myself, so I am looking forward to playing there, and whoever wins, hopefully I can get the job done."

Coll will now face Egyptian world No.1 Ali Farag on Wednesday morning (NZT) in his quarter-final. Farag has a 6-1 winning record over the Kiwi with the last time they played was in the last eight of the world champs earlier this year where it was a four game victory to the Egyptian.

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