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Paul Coll (left) celebrates his victory over Tarek Momen

Manchester Open QFs: Coll Avenges World Championship Final Defeat to Momen

New Zealand’s Paul Coll avenged his World Championship final defeat against World No.4 Tarek Momen with a hard-fought 3-2 win over the Egyptian to book his place in the Manchester Open semi-finals.

Momen outclassed Coll in November’s World Championship title decider and followed that up with another 3-0 triumph against the Kiwi at the Troilus Gold Canada Cup three months later.

And the Egyptian put most of the early points on the board to go a game ahead following a sloppy start from Coll, but it was role reversal in the second as six unforced errors contributed to The Viper’s failure to hold onto his lead.

Coll was far more composed in the third as he punished Momen on the backhand side in particular and nullified his opponent’s attacking potential to take the lead for the first time.

It was all the World No.5 in the opening stages of the fourth as he swept into a 7-3 lead but a loss in concentration enabled Momen to come back and snatch a lifeline from the jaws of defeat.

However, the match was soon Coll’s as he held his nerve in the decider to seal a 4-11, 11-3, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7 victory which will see him play either World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy of World No.10 Joel Makin for a place in the final.

“I’m stoked, I set myself a goal of winning a lot of these ones when we first come back and it was a big one there against Tarek,” said Coll.

“He’s got me the last two times 3-0 and that annoyed me a little bit. I was disappointed with how I started but I think I found my range and got my tactics sorted. I was very happy in the end but a little disappointed again in the fourth, I let a 7-3 lead slip pretty poorly, but I’m happy to come back in the fifth and close it out.

“[Before the match] I was trying to get myself in a good head space with a bit of breathing work to calm me down. I’ve been speaking to my mental coach and we’ve been speaking about playing squash like I play monopoly. I play monopoly very intensely but I also smile a lot, so it’s about trying to get a combination of both and keeping me relaxed.

“I’ve had a problem of getting too pumped up and too tense, so I’m trying to combine the two and that’s why I do a bit of breathing techniques during my warm-up.”

[5] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [4] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-2: 4-11, 11-3, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7 (75m)

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