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Kiwi Campbell Grayson beaten in US Open third round

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

It couldn’t get much more difficult for Kiwi squash player Paul Coll in the quarter-finals of the US Squash Open in Philadelphia.

Earlier today Coll defeated Egyptian Mazen Hasham in four games to make the tournament last eight and was satisfied with the 64 minute win against a troubling opponent.

"I just had to try and take the ball as early as I could and not let him have time on the ball because otherwise he is deadly. I’m happy to get my game plan sorted after the first and then survive the third," said Coll after the 6-11, 11-2, 12-10, 11-8 victory.

Coll then had to wait for the match featuring New Zealand’s world No.35 Campbell Grayson and Egyptian defending champ Mohamed El Shorbagy to see who he would play next.

Unfortunately for Grayson the Egyptian proved to strong winning in a competitive 11-6, 11-7, 12-10 contest in 42 minutes.

The former world No.1, who is unbeaten so far this season after winning the China Squash Open and Oracle NetSuite Open titles, was in dominate form to take the opening two games before Grayson staged a late comeback in the third to save four match balls.

However, El Shorbagy was able to utilise his mental strength to take the victory and set up the clash with Coll.

"I’m really happy to be back here in the quarters, the U.S. Open is one of the most prestigious tournaments on the calendar," said Bristol-based El Shorbagy afterwards who gave plenty of credit to Grayson.

"It’s a Platinum event and we all aim for these. It’s our first time playing against each other and we have even only practised against each other once or twice. He (Grayson) came to Bristol before the British Open in May and he is one of the nicest guys I have ever met in my life. We had a really good match, it was fair and clean and maybe I lost a little bit of focus at the end of the third and he showed how good he is as a squash player as he came back at me and I’m glad I finished it through in the end."

When it comes to facing Coll, then El Shorbay is ready for another battle.

"Paul has been doing really well and he had a really good end of season, especially his couple of matches with Farag and he obviously kept improving. He hasn’t lost a match so far this season and I think we are the only two players to have done that so far and unfortunately one of us will have to lose and hopefully it isn’t me."

Coll and El Shorbagy had played on four occasions, including the US Open semis last year with the Egyptian player winning all of their matches.

The match is scheduled for midday Friday (NZT).

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