22 Mar 2017

Coll wins, King loses at British Open

6:18 am on 22 March 2017

A win and a loss for the two New Zealanders at the British Open squash tournament in Hull.

Paul Coll won his opening round match, but Joelle King was beaten.

NZ squash player Joelle King

NZ squash player Joelle King Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Coll has made the British Open second round for the first time in his career but only after a huge battle over English wildcard Declan James in five games.

Coll, ranked 16 in the world won in 75 minutes 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-2, 11-5 over the 37th ranked James and at times struggled to get into the game.

"It was more mentally tough than physically hard for me," said Coll after the game. "I was feeling a bit awkward out there and I had to find a rhythm. I wasn't really feeling it so I had to focus as much as possible.

"I played him (James) a few years ago back in New Zealand so I knew he was tough, he is very solid and got great hands. If I gave him anything loose I knew I'd be under a whole lot of pressure.

"I just tried to focus on my game and get him off the 'T' as he was pretty up for it being as it is his home tournament. I got here in plenty of time and got used to the courts so the travel arrangements aren't an excuse, I gave myself every opportunity to win."

In the second round Coll will face Egyptian eighth seed Tarek Momen - a repeat of December's Channel VAS Championship final clash which saw Coll win his biggest title to date.

The 24-year-old from Greymouth said: "I'm expecting a lot of shots from Tarek, we have played each other a few times in the last year, so we're both familiar with each other's games and it should be a good battle."

Meanwhile world number 11 King went out in the opening round of the women's draw for the first time in her career after she relinquished a one-game lead to fall to an upset loss against Egyptian qualifier Mayar Hany.

Twenty-year-old Hany, who is ranked 22 places below King played with control beyond her years to win 7-11 11-9 11-4 11-9.