New Zealand’s World No.5 Paul Coll secured a last 16 place at the first PSA Platinum event of 2020 as he got his campaign up and running at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.
The PSA World Championship runner-up faced a tough second round tie in the form of Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi, who finished 2019 strongly with a good run at the World Championships in his home country of Qatar.
The last time the two players faced each other was at the 2018 China Squash Open when he went to five-games. However, Coll made sure to make simpler work of it this time around as he took a convincing first game for the loss of just three points.
World No.39 Tamimi grew in confidence in the second to get back on level terms though as he took full advantage of a sloppy start from the Kiwi to give him the platform to take the second game.
Rally of the tournament so far!!
paulcollsquash</a> & <a href="https://twitter.com/tamimi__94?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">tamimi__94 cover every inch of the court in this rapid
ToCSquash</a> exchange! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToCSquash?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToCSquash</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToC2020?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToC2020</a> <a href="https://t.co/5R0UH6bWr4">pic.twitter.com/5R0UH6bWr4</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) January 10, 2020
Coll made sure he stepped up the tempo in the third and fourth game as he got back to his clinical game plan to see out an 11-3, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6 victory in 52 minutes.
The 27-year-old will face either Tom Richards or Leo Au in the last 16.
“He’s such a dangerous opponent and when it comes down to it, he can hit winners out of nowhere,” said Coll following his win.
“You never really want to leave it until the fifth game against Abdulla, in the second I was a bit flat at the start and he just came out firing and destroyed me. I just had to try and play faster than him and get stuck into the whole physicality and I think I managed to do that and I found a bit of pace and a bit of length in the last two.
“He’s one of my good mates on tour and he’s playing really well lately, so I’m really happy for him.
“I know I’m fit, but I want to use that to hurt people rather than retrieve. I’ve spent probably an average of two hours on court more in the last six months working with my new coach. We’ve done some massive sessions on court and I’ve just developed a lot more physicality into my game on court.”
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 3-1: 11-3, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6 (52m)