4:02 am
22 Feb 2019

Kiwi Coll Kills Off Home Hopes In Darwin

11 May 2015

New Zealander Paul Coll denied the hosts of the NT Open in Australia a fourth successive home winner when he upset top seed Zac Alexander in the final of the PSA Challenger 10 squash event at Darwin Squash Centre in Darwin.

Continuing the fine form which has seen the 23-year-old from Christchurch win two PSA World Tour titles from three events already this year, second seed Coll cruised into the final of the fourth after despatching third-seeded Canadian Dane Sharp in straight games in the semi-finals.

But Alexander, the Brisbane-born former World No.36, also reached the final without dropping a game - brushing aside James Huang, the No.4 seed from Chinese Taipei, in the other semi. The win took the US-based 26-year-old into the 23rd Tour final of his career.

Favourite Alexander took the opening game, but Coll clinched the second after a tie-break before maintaining the upper hand in the next two to close out the match 8-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-6 after 65 minutes.

The triumph marks Coll's sixth Tour title from seven final appearances - and his fourth on Australian soil.

"Thanks for putting on these tournaments for us," joked Coll at the post-match presentations. "I love the conditions in Australia. The hot weather suits my game. The hot balls work in my favour."

Coll admitted that he had never seen Alexander play before, but knew of his solid reputation.

"I was really happy to win the way I did, he's an experienced player," said Coll, who won the $20,000 Open de Paris last month and reached the Irish Open semi-finals as a qualifier.

"I'd had a really good month leading up to this. In Paris I beat four players who were seeded ahead of me, and then Ireland was a great result.

"I'm happy with where I'm at - my game's in a really good place."

[2] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [1] Zac Alexander (AUS) 8-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-6 (65m)