Title-Holders El Hammamy & Coll Overcome Opening British Open Hurdles
11 Apr 2023
Defending champions Hania El Hammamy and Paul Coll successfully began their 2023 British Open campaigns with comfortable victories over South Africa's Alexandra Fuller and England's Curtis Malik, respectively, to reach the last 16 of the PSA World Tour Platinum event in Birmingham.
Kiwi Coll, a two-time British Open champion, extended his unbeaten run at the sport's oldest competition to 11 matches. The third seed came up against tournament wildcard Curtis Malik in the second round, and was in top form, winning 11-4, 11-4, 11-3 to set up a meeting with Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal for a place in the quarter-finals.
"Obviously it is a new venue so I am probably the only person who is disappointed we are not back in Hull! I have some great memories there, but I am looking forward to this week in Birmingham," Coll said.
"I come here to train a lot with my coach [Rob Owen], he lives here in Birmingham. I have been here for a week in training camp and I am very familiar with the area. It feels a bit like a second home for me, so I am looking forward to this week! I have plenty of familiar faces around and I am hoping we can have a good tournament!
Meanwhile, El Hammamy came up against South African No.1 Alexandra Fuller in her first match of the week in Birmingham. The games got tighter as they went on, but the qorld No.2 was able to come through each one to book her third round berth. She will now take on Welshwoman Emily Whitlock in the last 16.