Coll Defeats Former World No.1 Willstrop on Day Three of El Gouna
International by Sean Reuthe
April 9, 2017
- New Zealand’s World No.13 Paul Coll claimed one of the biggest scalps
of his career after he defeated former World No.1 James Willstrop to
reach the quarter-finals of the 2017 El Gouna International Squash
Open, World Series tournament held in Hurghada, Egypt.
Coll, 24, played his trademark game to retrieve everything Willstrop
threw at him courtesy of his electric pace before finishing off any
openings courtesy of solid, straight hitting.
"I'm extremely happy right now,” said Coll after his 11-4, 11-8, 11-7
“I grew up watching James so just to be competing at the same level as
him is special – but to beat him is amazing, I'm ecstatic.
“When we played in New York [at the Tournament of Champions] he
outplayed me and I learnt a lot from that one. I got sucked into
playing his pace and his lines – and he's the best in the world at
that. It was a lesson and I went away and made the changes that I
needed to make sure I improved."
The third day of main draw action also saw the Bristol-based ElShorbagy
brothers, Mohamed and Marwan, progress and they will go head-to-head
for the first time since February’s Windy City Open, which saw Marwan
claim his first ever win over his older brother, resulting in emotional
scenes at the University Club of Chicago.
Mohamed, the World No.3 and defending champion, edged his way past
fellow Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar, prevailing 11-9 in the fifth game
of an intense encounter that had seen Abouelghar - who stunned World
Champion Karim Abdel Gawad in last month’s British Open - fight back
from two games down.
Marwan, meanwhile, claimed a comfortable 3-0 win over Australian World
No.17 Cameron Pilley to add to his win over former World No.3 Omar
Mosaad in round one.
“Last time we played in Chicago it was very emotional, it was the first
time that he had beaten me,” said Mohamed.
“It was a big day for us and the family, but other than that it's going
to be the first time that we've played together in Egypt. It's going to
be a new experience for us to handle, it's going to be an interesting
match, but I think we'll both give it our best.
“Whoever plays better on the day will come out on top in the end, I'm
Elsewhere, French World No.1 Gregory Gaultier made it 16 matches
unbeaten after he continued his sensational form in 2017 to ease past
Egyptian qualifier Mazen Hesham, setting up a quarter-final meeting
Gaultier, the oldest ever World No.1 at 34, has lifted the Swedish
Open, Windy City Open and British Open titles in recent months and
dominated Hesham, the former World No.13 who was making his comeback
from a seven-month injury layoff, to win in just 24 minutes.
“I knew I had to be on my toes with Mazen because he puts the ball away
really quickly,” said Gaultier.
“He’s come back from a nasty injury, so as it was his first tournament
back I could see from the beginning that he was moving a bit roughly. I
had to stretch him a lot and make him do a lot of work by injecting
enough pace to avoid giving him enough time to put the ball away."
Draw - Second Round (Bottom Half): To
Be Played April 10
Fares Dessouky (EGY) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) v Diego Elias (PER)
 Simon Rösner (GER) v [Q] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
Borja Golan (ESP) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
Draw - Quarter-Finals (Top Half): To
Be Played April 11
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
Paul Coll (NZL) v  Gregory Gaultier (FRA)