World No.7 Paul Coll has become the first New Zealander to get his hands on the Citigold Wealth Management Canary Wharf Classic trophy after he overcame Egypt’s Tarek Momen by a 3-0 scoreline in their final fixture at London’s spectacular East Wintergarden earlier today.
Both players were appearing in their second successive PSA Tour finals, with Coll falling to Peru’s Diego Elias in the Troilus Canada Cup last week, while Momen went down to World No.1 Ali Farag in the title decider at the PSA World Championships in Chicago a fortnight ago.
A best-of-three games format was used up to and including the quarter-finals in Canary Wharf, with scoring reverting to best of five for the semis and final – and Coll hadn’t dropped a game all tournament. Momen, meanwhile, lost in the 2018 final and was looking to match wife Raneem El Welily after she won the CIB Black Ball Open title earlier today
The 26-year-old Kiwi was sublime in the final as he attacked with accuracy into the front of the court and hit a flawless length game to edge the first two games. The third game was all Coll though as Momen struggled with his movement, and the man from Greymouth closed out an 11-8, 12-10, 11-3 victory in 64 minutes to capture the 13th PSA Tour title of his career.
Tonight’s win sees Coll win his first PSA Tour event since December 2016, when he beat Momen in the final of the Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill.
“It is such a prestigious tournament, there are such phenomenal names on the trophy and to be a part of that is something special,” said Coll afterwards.
“I have played this tournament three times, and I feel like I have played well every year. I love coming here, it is such a well organised event. The atmosphere is amazing, it is packed out every round and I love that.
“I have been trying to make some improvements for a while now, and I really felt them come into my game in the World Championships. I felt quite strong on court. In Toronto, I just lost out in the final and that really hurt me. I was confident in my squash and as long as I could get my head right this week, I was confident. I am really happy with the squash, and also [happy] to stay strong mentally for the entire event.”
Coll also had a message for people affected by the recent tragic events in Christchurch and dedicated his win to them.
paulcollsquash</a> has a message for people affected by the recent tragic events in Christchurch <a href="https://t.co/5tEdvj8ZoN">pic.twitter.com/5tEdvj8ZoN</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) March 15, 2019
He said: “To everyone back home in Christchurch, stay strong.
“It is a horrible thing that has happened to New Zealand and that was for you, and for everyone in Christchurch tonight. Stay strong guys.”
Coll takes home $17,500 in prize money and his next tournament will be the DPD Open in Eindhoven, which takes place between April 9-14, 2019.
What a display from
paulcollsquash</a>!<br><br>The Kiwi has beaten <a href="https://twitter.com/TkMomen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">TkMomen to become the 2019 Citigold
CWCsquash</a> champion<br><br>It's his biggest ever title and first since December 2016!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CitigoldSquashClassic?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CitigoldSquashClassic</a> <a href="https://t.co/n87YJHLAmo">pic.twitter.com/n87YJHLAmo</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) March 15, 2019
Result – Final: 2019 Citigold Wealth Management Canary Wharf Classic
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt  Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 12-10, 11-3 (64m)