12:00 pm
24 Feb 2024

Diego Downs Coll To Make Mauritius Final

11 Jun 2022

Peru's world No.5 Diego Elias put in a scintillating performance to overcome New Zealand's world No.2 Paul Coll in Grand Bay, Mauritius, as the finalists were decided at the Necker Mauritius Open - Presented by Beachcombers Resorts & Hotels.

In front of a packed crowd at the RM Club, Elias dominated much of the first match, playing confident attacking shots and finding ways to consistently beat an out-of-sorts Coll. After taking the first game 11-4, Elias looked at ease in the second and maintained the lead for the majority of proceedings. Eventually, though, Coll managed to pull level at 8-8 to set up an exciting finish to the game. The Peruvian, however, was able to give himself a two-point cushion following a Coll error, before another from the Kiwi handed Elias the second game, to the world No.2's visible fury.

Elias, who defeated the Kiwi in the final of the Qatar Classic in November, continued to find himself with a number of options in the third game as he sped into a 6-2 lead. Coll, who was unable to fix the issues he'd been having all game with his accuracy, tried to stay in the match on the back of his flawless and constant movement.

After going 10-6 and four match balls down, Coll summoned all his energy to save the first two but it was to no avail, as. Elias produced the perfect crosscourt winner to cap a remarkable performance, sending the world No.5 into the final.

"I think I played one of the best matches I've ever played, so I'm supposed to be happy!" Elias said.

"Paul's had a long and very hard season, with lots of big matches, so I thought I had a big opportunity today. He was, I guess, tired mentally from the whole season, so I just didn't want to let it go today and I'm very happy that I played like this.

"I'm working right now with a few people, I've had my dad since forever, Jonathon Power, Wael El Hindi. We just all talk and find a good plan for every match. Greg [Gaultier] has helped me a lot, he's always here helping me and giving me all the advice he can. So I'm just very happy that I could win this and this is because of all of them."

Elias will now face England's Mohamed Elshorbagy in the final on Saturday after the world No.3 defeated Egypt's Tarek Momen in a tight three-game battle, the last of which went deep into a tie-break.

Elshorbagy, who switched his allegiance to England at the start of the week, is featuring in his first tournament under his new flag, and he started strongly, with some power hitting pushing Momen further back in the court, while his position on the 'T' was high, meaning he could retrieve the majority of 'the Viper's' short attacks.

The world No.3 continued to press on in the second game, and went on to double his lead, but it was Momen who led throughout the third, and Elshorbagy had to save several game balls. The Egyptian fell twice in the latter stages as the court began to get slippery, but it was Elshorbagy who was able to come through, taking it 14-12 to book his spot in the final.

"Once you get to the semi-final, you've got the best four players in the tournament there in the semis, which is what the tournament wants," the Englishman said.

"You had two great matches today, anyone could have made the final, any of us, to be honest. Diego played fantastically today and I think I played well today as well.

"We're both really good friends. We both actually travelled together from Egypt on a long flight to come here and we get along really well. I think this is our first final together, so I think we're hopefully going to give each other a good match and may the best man win."

In the RMCLUB Women's Open, top seed Tinne Gilis continued her assault of the competition to reach a third Challenger 30 level final in as many months, overcoming the challenge of France's Enora Villard. The Belgian will now face Egypt's Farida Mohamed for the title.

Gilis came into her semi-final against Villard knowing that the Frenchwoman had not played for two days, after she received a walkover through her last eight contest following the withdrawal of Scotland's Lisa Aitken through illness. The Belgian, who currently sits at world No.15, was on top form from the off.

From the opening shot of game two, Gilis was in brutal form, recording a morale-shattering 11-1 win over the Frenchwoman in just five minutes. Despite the crushing nature of the second game, Villard was able to trouble the world No.15 in the third, competing well around court with the scores at 7-7. Gilis, however, was able to pull clear once again to progress to the final having won all her matches in three games with an 11-8 win.

"I feel amazing, actually. I took some rest this morning but as soon as I arrived at the club I was excited and ready to play and was going to give it my all on court for sure," the Belgian said after her win.

"Even the days where you don't feel 100 percent, you can still find a way through and that's what I did today so I'm happy and proud of myself."

Egypt's Mohamed did battle with another Frenchwoman, in the tournament's No.2 seed Melissa Alves, and came through an interesting contest to make it into the final of a Challenger 30 level final for the first time, and into the biggest final of her career to date.

The 20-year-old Egyptian started strongly, with her power hitting game working well, but a slew of errors in the second game allowed Alves to level the match, to the delight of the crowd. However, Mohamed regrouped and found the game that had worked so well earlier in the contest, disrupting the rhythm of the Frenchwoman, to win in four games and advance to a first final on Tour since 2019.

"Melissa's a very good player, she has so much experience and when I played her about four or five years ago, I got killed on court! I expected her to be very strong today and I'm very happy to be through," Mohamed said.