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Paul Coll (right) got the better of Declan James at the University Club of Chicago

Windy City Open RD3: Coll Downs James To Reach Quarters

New Zealand’s World No.5 Paul Coll is through to the quarter-finals of the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family after overcoming a stern test from England’s Declan James.

This was the fourth meeting between the two players on the PSA World Tour with the Kiwi having won two of the previous three, with both of those coming in major events, at the 2017 Allam British Open, and the 2018 Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Squash Open.

This one started off in a very tight fashion, but it was ‘Superman’ that was able to pull out the lead in the middle part of the game, and he carried that momentum to take the early lead. However, the Englishman fought back through the second, dominating the ’T’ to level the match at one game apiece.

The third game was error-strewn for the ‘Dark Knight’ as he gifted Coll a huge lead. Although he was able to find some shots in the latter part of the game, it was the Kiwi that took it 11-4, before then closing out the match with a hotly-contested 11-6 scoreline in the fourth game. He will now play World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in the last eight.

“The first couple of games the ball was really flying around and I was struggling to find my range to the front. I was a bit late on the ball and I was a bit passive,” Coll said.

“He has that big forehand that he winds off and that was pinging off the front wall so it made it very tough for me. I am very happy to get off there in four and I felt very good in those last two games.

“He has that big wingspan so you have to try and whip it past him or try and go over him. I clipped him a couple of times with my knee which was unintentional and I hope he is okay. He is such a big boy across the T and those things happen in squash, but I do hope he is okay.”

[5] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Declan James (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 11-6 (63m)

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