Egyptian World No.5 Ali Farag and New Zealand’s World No.10 Paul Coll will lock horns in the quarter-finals of the Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill after they claimed wins on the second day of main draw action at the PSA M100 tournament in Weybridge.
Farag, fresh from his maiden World Series title at last week’s U.S. Open, took on tournament wildcard Charlie Lee in his first round fixture, with home favourite Lee leading for spells during all three games as a fearless showing from the 19-year-old saw him hit some fine winners as he wrong-footed Farag and moved him into different areas of the court.
But Farag put his experience to good use and the number two seed went up through the gears towards the latter half of the games as he closed out an 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 victory to reach the last eight.
“It’s never easy playing the wildcard because he’s a local hero here and he’s got all of the support behind him,” said Farag.
“To be through in three is good to save energy, I’ve got a tough one tomorrow and I’m looking forward to that.
“We [Farag and Coll] just played a couple of weeks ago in Shanghai and I won in four, when we played at the ToC he beat me in four, so I’m sure it’s going to be a very tough match.”
Defending champion Coll claimed a straight games victory against Australia’s World No.16 Ryan Cuskelly to earn his place in the quarter-finals. The number six seed hit his lines and kept Cuskelly away from the ’T’ throughout to take an 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 win.
“Me and Ryan have played a few times, we seem to get each other quite a lot,” said Coll, who was returning to the scene of his biggest ever PSA World Tour title win.
“I know his game and he’s a solid player, so I knew it was going to be a battle and I just tried to be even more solid. I really like the court and I’ve got good memories here, so I felt relaxed and just played my game, I felt really good out there.”
The man Coll beat in last year’s final – World No.8 Tarek Momen – is also through to the next round courtesy of a 3-1 victory over Australia’s World No.17 Cameron Pilley.
Momen went a game down against Pilley but came back to take the next three games without reply.
“Last year I was in the final, so I was always going to come back and try to go one step further and win the title,” said Momen.
“He has had some big upsets against most of us in the top 10, so I was very cautious of that fact and I was trying to contain him as much as possible.
“I’m glad I’m through for tomorrow’s match and hopefully I can give a better performance.”
Momen will go head-to-head with Peru’s World No.15 Diego Elias after he defeated England’s Daryl Selby by a 3-0 margin.
The Channel VAS Championships continue tomorrow (October 20th) with quarter-final action and all of the fixtures will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).
Results – First Round (Bottom Half): 2017 Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [Q] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-1: 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8 (58m)
Diego Elias (PER) bt  Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-0: 11-3, 11-8, 11-3 (40m)
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 (55m)
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt [WC] Charlie Lee (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 (28m)
Draw – Quarter-Finals:
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [Q] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
 Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [Q] Saurav Ghosal (IND)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v Diego Elias (PER)
 Paul Coll (NZL) v  Ali Farag (EGY)