New Zealand’s World No.5 Paul Coll was the first player to book his place in the semi-finals of the CIB Egyptian Squash Open after he overcame Egypt’s World No.14 Fares Dessouky in a physical five-game encounter.
Coll was on the front foot after the first game, before Dessouky showed signs of his sublime racket skills to draw level. It then became a physical encounter with Coll doing well to keep his focus to regain the lead, before the Egyptian drew level once more.
Some big calls from the referees played their part in adding to the drama of the match as a conduct stroke was awarded against Dessouky at a crucial moment in the fifth, before Coll was able to maintain a cool head to close out an 11-6, 5-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 victory in a mammoth 82 minutes.
The New Zealander will face either World No.1 Ali Farag or England’s Daryl Selby for a place in the final of the PSA World Tour Platinum event.
“It’s always a physical game against Fares,” said 27-year-old Coll.
“He takes the ball so early and I was trying to push up on the ‘T’ so there is always going to be a lot of contact. I’m happy with the way I kept my head there was a lot of decisions and a lot of stopping and starting, especially in the last game. I was happy with the way I stayed in there and closed it out.
“I’m really enjoying this new period of my game. I started with a new coach, mental and tactical, so I’m really enjoying the start of the season, I’ve had a few good wins and a couple of good results. This is my first time playing in front of the Pyramids and it is another incredible experience in my squash career to be playing in this amazing location tonight.”
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-2: 11-6, 5-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 (82m)