New Zealand’s Paul Coll is through to the final of the Open de France – Nantes after defeating Egypt’s Zahed Salem in straight games at the Chateau.
The Kiwi came out strongly in the first game, but the No.4 seed was able to match him shot-for-shot in the opening exchanges. Coll managed to just eke out a lead in the final stags of the first to take the early lead in the match.
The second was easier for the New Zealander, who restricted the World No.14 to just five points as he doubled his lead in the match. Coll would go on to secure his place in the final of the event after winning the third game to seal victory inside 40 minutes.
“I am very relieved to get off court in three. It was mentally very tough and I had to keep myself very focussed. It was easy to drift off and think about my bed. I didn’t think about squash, I just concentrated mentally on staying sharp and just playing what wad there,” Coll said.
“I took a longer nap than usual, just slept as long as I could during the day. I just started my day a few hours later than normal. It was very tough, it was still tough to warm-up and get started in the match. During the day was fine, I just postponed everything a few hours.
“I watched the whole thing [Makin v Marche] from my bed. It was a very physical match, and he did well to come from 2-0 down against a French crowd. It was a pretty impressive performance from him, but I have played him the day after a 100-minute match and we then played another 100-minute match again so I am sure he will back up again tomorrow.
“A win would be perfect. I made the final of my first event last year and just missed out so if I could go one better this time round it would be amazing. I will just try to leave everything out there. I just need to recover, sleep as long as I can in the morning. It is another late match so I will just prepare for it like I did today.”
Result – Men’s Semi-Final: Open de France – Nantes
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt  Zahed Salem (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-8 (39m)