World No.34 Paul Coll swept passed Australia’s Rex Hedrick on home soil in the final of the Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand PSA Classic, PSA M15 tournament to capture the ninth PSA World Tour title of his career.
Coll came into the tournament off the back of a runner-up finish at the recent HKFC International, and outlined his title credentials early on as he scythed through Mohd Syafiq Kamal and James Huang in the early stages, before recovering from 2-1 down to defeat Malaysia’s Ivan Yuen in a dramatic semi-final encounter.
Hedrick, meanwhile, chartered a similar course to the final, with routine 3-0 wins over Evan Williams and Eain Yow Ng, and the 27-year-old also prevailed in a five-game semi-final, this time against England’s Joshua Masters.
Coll and Hedrick had met six times previously on the PSA World Tour, with Hedrick triumphing in each fixture. Coll seemed determined to bring an end to that run though as he came out on top in a frantic opening game, grinding out an 11-5 win to take the lead.
The second game followed in a similar vein, with tense, fast-paced rallies being par for the course. With the scores poised delicately around the mid-way point, Coll eventually pulled away to double his advantage after wowing the gathered spectators in Palmerston North with some trademark dives, one of which saw him pick up a blood injury at 10-7 up, resulting in a short break in proceedings.
After returning to the court, Coll closed out the second game quickly, before romping to victory in the third for the loss of just one point to wrap up the victory and capture his first PSA World Tour crown of 2016.
“It was a fast paced game and my lungs were really feeling it,” said Coll.
“I was able to recover in between points and I was glad to come out on top in three games. It was my first win over Rex and I have played him a fair bit, he used to dominate when I played the Aussie circuit.”
Result – Final: Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers New Zealand PSA Classic 2016
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt  Rex Hedrick (AUS) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-1