7:34 am
16 Jul 2024

Kiwi Coll Collects Australia Day Hat-Trick

26 Jan 2015

Coll with women's champion Megan Craig

New Zealander Paul Coll disappointed home hopes for the third year in a row when he lifted the Australia Day Challenge squash title at Ipswich PCYC Squash Centre in Ipswich in the Australian state of Queensland.

Coll, the 22-year-old World No.80 from Christchurch, was favourite to win the PSA Challenger 5 event for the third time since 2013 - and duly reached the final without dropping a game.

And to make matters even more galling for the promoters, it was an all-Kiwi final which brought the event to a climax after unseeded Evan Williams recorded his best run since returning to the Tour after a year-long layoff following a wrist injury.

The 25-year-old from Wellington made his breakthrough in the quarter-finals where he ousted second-seeded Australian hope Matthew Hopkin. In the semis, the former World No.79 despatched fellow countryman Kashif Shuja, the fourth seed.

Williams took the opening two games in the final, but Coll - who had never before beaten his close friend - regained the upper hand to clinch the match 4-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-6, 11-3 in 72 minutes.

"It was a bit tougher than last year's final, given I won last year 3/0, and this one went to five," Coll said.

"I had never beaten him, I always find him tough to play. It's good to finally get one over him, but I'm also really happy just to see him coming back from injury."

The triumph marks the fourth PSA World Tour title of Coll's career.

[1] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Evan Williams (NZL) 4-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-6, 11-3 (72m)