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Paul Coll celebrates his victory over Mohamed ElShorbagy

Windy City Open QFs: Coll Ousts World No.1 ElShorbagy

New Zealand’s Paul Coll secured his first ever victory over World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy, booking his place in the semi-finals of the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family in the process.

The Kiwi had never beaten the World No.1 in five attempts, with three of those coming at the quarter-final stage, including at the 2019 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships.

It was Coll that was on the front foot at the start of the first game, as he took the first five points of the match, but ElShorbagy fought back to level it up, and he went on to have two game balls. However, the World No.5 saved both, before winning the first two points of the tie-break to take a one game lead.

‘The Beast’ started to move further up the court in the early part of the second game in an attempt to counter the way Coll was playing, but a couple of mistakes late on allowed the Kiwi to take the lead in the game, and he capitalised, winning it 11-7 to move into a 2-0 lead.

He continued that momentum through into the start of the third game, winning six of the first seven points, and it was a lead he would not relinquish. He secured the victory in just over 50 minutes, as he defeated ElSHorbagy for the first time in his career, along with moving through to the semi-finals of the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family for the first time as well.

“I was just trying to get into a really good headspace. I had a really good opportunity at the TOC [Tournament of Champions] and last week I was in another final. I am just trying to really enjoy the battle out there,” Coll explained.

“Mohamed is such a class act and he has been top of his game for the last five years, if not more, so I just wanted to really enjoy the match with him today. I felt very relaxed out there and I was seeing the ball like a beach ball out there, so that really helped!

“I am not ashamed of that record. I have been chipping away slowly and getting more confident. For me it is just a case of trying to improve day by day to challenge those guys. I am learning every day and I had the confidence today and it worked out for me.”

[5] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 12-10, 11-7, 11-6 (51m)

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