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Mostafa Asal

CIB Black Ball Open RD2: Asal Gets the Double Over Coll

Egypt’s World No.14 Mostafa Asal claimed a huge 6-11, 11-8, 11-3, 4-11, 11-8 victory over New Zealand’s World No.4 Paul Coll to reach the quarter finals of the CIB Black Ball Open.

The two famously met at the CIB Egyptian Open in front of the Pyramids in October where Asal claimed a controversial victory over the Kiwi and in celebration ripped his shirt off and threw it into the crowd. And the shirt came off again in Cairo as Asal roared to victory once more over Coll in front of his home crowd.

A solid performance from Coll saw him go one up as he applied his game plan well with patient squash handing him the advantage.

The contest and Asal in particular roared into life in the second, with the Egyptian encouraging the crowd to be louder as he made his way back into the match, showing his dynamic movement coupled with strong quality at the front of the court to draw level.

A wayward performance from Coll in the third saw Asal take the lead with his ruthless hitting and superb shot selection taking centre stage to go 2-1 up.

Coll refused to go away though and after a request of a ball change at the end of the third produced another strong performance with Asal fading a little as Coll was able to execute his tactics and make it physically demanding on the young Egyptian to push the match to a tense finale.

The fifth arguably provided the most drama of the match with a five-minute rally taking place on just the second point of the game as the two players traded blows, an important review decision for Asal at 8-8 proved to be the turning point for the 19-year-old to press ahead as he held his nerve to close out strongly and produce a memorable celebration that we have become accustomed to from the World No.14.

Asal will face Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez in the next round.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Asal to the SquashTV cameras afterwards.

“I want to thank this amazing crowd, it’s something unbelievable for me to play in my home country – I want to thank them all.

“It’s so hard to play against someone like Paul Coll. In Qatar, he was unbelievable and I thought it was going to be to him this time before the match. I played and when I took the second game, I started to play my game and enjoy it – that’s the main point. My dad said to me ‘enjoy it’, so to enjoy the squash you play awesome.

“When I play a top 50, 60, I'm always thinking about my physicality, and trying to save energy I guess. But when I play Paul, he is the best in the world for physicality, and I just don't think about it. I just forget about that and focus on my squash.”

[11] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt [4] Paul Coll (NZL) 3-2: 6-11, 11-8, 11-3, 4-11, 11-8 (85m)

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