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Paul Coll in action against Fares Dessouky

Qatar Classic Semi-Finals: Coll Downs Dessouky to Reach Final

New Zealand’s World No.5 Paul Coll has reached the final of the Qatar Classic PSA Platinum event for the first time in his career following an 11-9, 11-0, 11-0 victory over Egypt’s World No.12 Fares Dessouky.

There was no sign of fatigue from Coll following his two mammoth five-game battles in the previous days as he took a crucial first game, 11-9, taking full advantage of unforced errors from Dessouky at crucial times and finding his length well to cut off the angles for the talented Egyptian to go 1-0 up.

A lack of concentration and desire from Dessouky in the second saw Coll comfortably double his advantage with 11 successive points as the Egyptian made no attempt to contest the last few rallies of the game following a discussion with the referee.

Coll did not let Dessouky’s performance in the second affect his concentration as he remained professional, finding his shots perfectly and going 8-0 up in the third before Dessouky slipped and was received physio treatment on court.

The 26-year-old was able to see out the match but was clearly struggling and could not prevent Coll from advancing to the final in Qatar, 12 months on from reaching the PSA World Championship final on the same court.

“I thought I was hitting my targets brilliantly today,” said 28-year-old Coll.

“I really closed the court down. I know how dangerous he is across the ‘T’ line and I think everyone has seen how flat he can put the ball, how quickly he can put shots away and how skilful he is. I just tried to be super accurate today and really get him stuck in the back corners. If you hit your length on this court, then you really get rewarded. I thought I could close the court down and keep him behind me, which I thought I did really well today.

“I’ve had two great years in Qatar in a row now, so hopefully I can go one further tomorrow, but there’s either the World Champion or the World No.1 up next. I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I felt really good out there today, and really good yesterday, just really looking forward to tomorrow.

“I hope Fares isn’t too badly hurt, that’s the third person I’ve seen go down in this tournament. We’ve already had enough time out, so hopefully he’s not too sore and can be back for the next tournament.”

[4] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-0, 11-0 (37m)

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