Champion Dethroned As Coll Sets Up Matthew Clash At Canary Wharf
9 Mar 2017
Unseeded New Zealander Paul Coll backed up his mammoth 2-hour upset over Simon Rösner in the first round of the Canary Wharf Classic with a hugely impressive straight games defeat of crowd favourite Daryl Selby, the sixth seed, to set up a first ever meeting in the semi-finals with five-time champion Nick Matthew, the top seed.
Coll, who hasn't lost a match on English soil since his first round exit at the 2016 British Open almost a year ago, was in cruise control against former world No.9 Selby, using his physical strength to extend the rallies and force errors from the 34-year-old to come through 11-7, 11-3, 12-10 in just under an hour.
"I'm very happy and relieved to get through that match tonight, especially in three games," said Coll.
"He really stepped up in the third and was hitting some outrageous shots, so it's good to get off in three and get an early night to rest and recover. I had a tough one on Monday but I did all the recovery work and felt pretty fresh tonight.
"There's a lot of hard work and suffering that goes in behind the scenes so it feels good to be getting the wins. And I've had some good results in London recently, it's become a bit of a happy hunting ground for me - hopefully I can keep that going."
Coll will face 36-year-old Matthew after the three-time World Champion saw off Australian Cameron Pilley 3/0 courtesy of a dominant performance.
"I've been working a lot on my game lately and put in a very good few weeks and feel like I'm moving better than I have done for a few years," said Matthew, the world No.4 who went down to Pilley in their most recent meeting in Hong Kong in December 2015.
"I'm really looking forward to playing Paul. I've never played him before and he's come up a long way in a short space of time and really announced himself as not just a contender, but someone who can win. His physicality is his strength and he plays a very disciplined game of squash so I have to be at my best - hopefully I can stop his run in London."
2016 tournament winner Mathieu Castagnet meanwhile saw his hopes of a Canary Wharf double dashed at the hands of Egyptian Fares Dessouky as the 22-year-old came through a scrappy affair 11-7, 9-11, 11-3, 11-6.
Castagnet, whose career has been plagued by injury since winning here twelve months ago, looked to be back to his free flowing best as he engaged in exchange after exchange that saw the two covering all four corners of the court in the early going. But, with the referee becoming increasingly involved, it was Dessouky who kept his momentum going to secure the win and go through to meet Spain's Borja Golan.
"I'm feeling great - beating Mathieu was a great thing for me," said Dessouky.
"He's a great player and I really enjoyed the battle - I'm just trying my best every day and playing as well as I can."