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Paul Coll in action against Mathieu Castagnet in Nantes

Coll Battles Back To Beat Castagnet In Epic Quarter Final In Nantes

New Zealand’s Paul Coll is through to the semi finals of the Open de France – Nantes after surviving a huge scare from home favourite Mathieu Castagnet at the Chateau des ducs de Bretagne.

The first game was tight all the way through, with both men having several game balls as it went into a tie-break. Castagnet was the man to take it 15-13 to take a lead in the match.

However, the World No.6 battled back to take the second game, restricting Castagnet to just three points, as he levelled the match at one game apiece.

The third and deciding game had a little bit of everything, as both the Kiwi and the Frenchman put everything on the line for a place in the semi finals.

Eventually, after an epic 63 minute battle, it would be ‘Superman’ that would tale the victory. He won the third game 11-9 to seal the win, booking his place in the semi finals.

Coll will now face Zahed Salem in the last four of the Open de France – Nantes on Friday evening, as the tournament changes to the traditional best-of-five format.

“I am very relieved to get through that. I thought it was quite high quality in the first [game]. I had my opportunities to close it out which would have been nice, and the I played well in the second,” Coll admitted.

“He is such a fighter, and I always think that I have got him but he just keeps digging in. He looks like he is about to fall over but he keeps going. He is a real pain, but I loved the battle. It was amazing to hear the crowd and the atmosphere, as much as I didn’t enjoy it, I also absolutely loved it.

“I pushed my shoulders back and stood up a bit taller. I told myself to fight and take the last bit of the game to him. It was now or never if I was going to save it. I had a few mental words to myself to push myself to the finish line.

“It is best-of-five tomorrow so it is probably going to be even later than tonight. I am just going to have a good day tomorrow, sleep as long as possible after doing my recovery tonight. Just relax tomorrow, it is a long day because it is not until the evening that we play, so I will probably have a hit and then see what happens.”

Result – Men’s Quarter Final: Open de France – Nantes
[2] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 2-1: 13-15, 11-3, 11-9 (63m)

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