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New Zealand's Paul Coll in action against Tom Richards

Tournament of Champions RD3: Coll Advances Against Richards

New Zealand’s World No.5 Paul Coll displayed a mature performance to book his place in the quarter finals of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions after seeing off England’s Tom Richards in straight-games.

Coll, who reached the PSA World Championship final at the end of last year, was on top form in the first game as he comfortably took the lead, 11-5.

The second proved to be a much closer battle as Richards began to put pressure on the Kiwi, with Coll’s accuracy going wayward as the Englishman began to push. A racket to the face of Richards caused a stoppage as the Englishman was treated before Coll was able to close out a two game lead on the tie-break.

The third proved to be more straightforward for Coll with the 27-year-old powering to a 10-0 lead before Richards registered his first point on the board, with the World No.5 closing out an 11-5, 12-10, 11-1 win to set up a tantalising quarter final showdown with World No.1 Ali Farag.

“I don’t underestimate any opponent these days,” said Coll.

“Tom came out in that second game and really picked up the pace in front of me and attacked me, got off to an early lead which I let happen in the second round as well. I’ve spoken to my coach and we tried to stop that, so I was a little bit disappointed with the start of that second but I came out strong in the third.

“I tried to hit too hard and play too fast at the start of the second and he picked me off. I completely lost my accuracy, it doesn’t matter if you play fast, someone with good hands will make it harder for you. I really lost my accuracy in that second but I’m really happy with that third and how I came back and had a good tempo.”

[5] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 12-10, 11-1 (38m)

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