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Paul Coll celebrates a superb comeback

Comeback King Coll In To HKFC International Final


New Zealand’s Paul Coll came up with a stunning fightback to overturn a two-game deficit against tournament surprise package Ivan Yuen in the semi-final of the HKFC International, PSA M25 tournament.

Yuen, who battled through qualification before shocking defending champion Max Lee in the opening round en route to the last four, was playing some of his best ever squash and stormed into a 2-0 lead after coming out on top of some punishing rallies.

A 24-minute third game saw Coll save match ball with a trademark dive to claw a game back as the tension reached a crescendo. That crucial victory meant that the momentum shifted in Coll’s favour as the World No.37 controlled the next two games to complete a superb come-from-behind triumph.

“He was just awesome in the first two games,” said Coll, who earlier saw compatriot Joelle King reach the Women’s final.

“I had to try to get more positive and apply more pressure myself. I tried to push but he was hitting some great shots. After taking the third, I knew I still had to make it physical, I couldn’t afford to get sucked into a slow game so I tried to step it up and got the momentum going into the fifth.

“I’m delighted to be in the final, and I hope we can make it a New Zealand double.”

Coll will go head-to-head with another Malaysian, Nafiizwan Adnan, in the showpiece finale after the number three seed vanquished home hope Leo Au, who battled on despite a shoulder injury, in straight games.

“You know what it’s going to be like when you play Leo,” Adnan said.

“I knew he was struggling a little with his shoulder, but it was still a very tough match. I just had the edge at the end of each game, and it’s good to be able to finish in three so I’m hopefully a little fresher for the final.”

Results – Semi-Final: HKFC International 2016
[5] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [Q] Ivan Yuen (MAS) 5-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-3 (82m)
[3] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt [2] Leo Au (HKG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 12-10 (44m)

Draw – Final
[5] Paul Coll (NZL) v [3] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)

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