The first round action at the prestigious J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions – the World Series tournament taking place in New York’s stunning Grand Central Terminal – continues today with a wealth of exciting matches in the offering for squash fans.
Former World No.1 James Willstrop and ‘Colombian Cannnball’ Miguel Angel Rodriguez go head-to-head in the pick of the fixtures as they get day two off to a blistering start.
Paul Coll after beating Tarek Momen in the 2016 Channel VAS Championship final
One month after claiming a breakthrough title win at the Channel VAS Championship which elevated him into the world’s top 20, New Zealand’s Paul Coll makes his maiden appearance in the main draw of the Tournament of Champions against England’s Chris Simpson.
Coll fought all the way from qualification to lift his first PSA M100 title in Weybridge, scalping big names such as Max Lee, Rodriguez, Daryl Selby and Tarek Momen en route to the title.
Simpson, who lost out to World No.6 Marwan ElShorbagy in Weybridge, is looking to return to the world’s top 20 since falling outside in the December rankings and has beaten Coll in all three of their fixtures so far.
Simon Rösner during the 2015/16 PSA Dubai World Series Finals
German No.1 Simon Rösner escaped the prospect of facing World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad in round one after Ramy Ashour’s withdrawal through injury prompted a draw reshuffle – but he will still need to be at his best to fend off the threat of Malaysia’s Nafiizwan Adnan.
Both players displayed some fine form towards the end of 2016, with Rösner’s quarter-final finish at the Qatar Classic enabling him to rise back into the world’s top 10 after a seven-month absence.
Adnan, meanwhile, had been marooned outside of the world’s top 30 for over a year, before a third round berth at the PSA Men’s World Championship saw the Manchester-based 30-year-old end the year back inside.
The pair line up against each other for the first time in seven years, with Rösner claiming a 3-2 victory at the Malaysian Open to add to the 3-0 win he achieved over his opponent at the Comfort Inn Open on their only other meeting.
Meanwhile, Gawad will face fellow Egyptian Zahed Mohamed for the second tournament in a row after the former triumphed in Qatar two months ago.
2012 winner Matthew is also in action and will take on Scottish qualifier Alan Clyne, while Cameron Pilley and Saurav Ghosal will take on Raphael Kandra and Nicolas Mueller, respectively.
World No.7 Ali Farag goes head-to-head with Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip in the day’s other fixture as they meet for the first time on the PSA World Tour.
Order of Play – 2017 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions: First Round Bottom Half
(All times are local GMT-5)
12:00 James Willstrop (ENG) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
12:45  Nick Matthew (ENG) v [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)
14:00 Chris Simpson (ENG) v [Q] Paul Coll (NZL)
14:45 [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) v  Ali Farag (EGY)
17:00  Simon Rösner (GER) v [Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
17:45 Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [Q] Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
19:00 Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [Q] Raphael Kandra (GER)
19:45 Zahed Mohamed (EGY) v  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
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