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Paul Coll

Canary Wharf Classic Day Three RoundUp: Coll and Makin Set Up Quarter Final

New Zealand’s World No.3 Paul Coll and Wales’ World No.9 Joel Makin will meet in the quarter finals of the 2021 Canary Wharf Classic after round two concluded at London’s East Wintergarden.

2019 champion Coll started his campaign strongly against Egypt’s World No.17 Youssef Soliman after he comfortably settled into his length and rhythm on the all-glass showcourt at the PSA World Tour Gold event to advance by an 11-6, 11-3 scoreline.

“He’s a really solid player, strong around the middle and a very good mover,” said the New Zealander.

“You have to hit more than one good shot to win the point. I was happy with tonight, felt like I could have started sharper with my short shots but found the back of the court which is key to my game and pushed on from there. I’m happy to be back.”

Meanwhile, Makin was forced to dig deep against India’s World No.15 Saurav Ghosal to make it safely through the second round as he claimed an 11-9, 11-8 victory in the best-of-three format.

Ghosal came out of the blocks firing to storm into a 9-4 lead in the first, but Makin played patient squash to buy his time and grind his way back into the game, rattling off seven points in succession to take the lead before closing out an edgy second game.

“I was stuck behind him at the start and he played some good stuff around the middle,” said Makin afterwards.

“I had to get a bit of pace back into the ball and get in front of him and take my chances, I was being a bit negative and you’re well aware of the importance of the start in best-of-three. You just have to find a way in those situations to get back on top.

“It’s 1-1 with me and Paul this season and they’ve both been best-of-threes. It’s going to be tight, he’s in great form and it’s impressive to break the top Egyptians up. We need variety at the top of the game and hopefully we can all get up there and break it up as it’s more interesting I think.”

The other quarter final in the bottom half of the draw will see France’s Gregoire Marche and Peru’s Diego Elias go head-to-head after they claimed respective wins over English duo James Willstrop and George Parker.

World No.19 Marche was at his accurate best to end the run of former World No.1 Willstrop as he prevailed 11-6, 11-4 in the opening match of the night.

The English veteran had rolled back the years in his previous round when he took out Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar – who is 10 years his junior – however, Willstrop was unable to repeat that feat as he came up against an in form Marche who put in a dominant performance.

“It’s always a pleasure to play James,” said Marche following his match. “I have always watched his matches since I was young. It’s always special to be on court with him, he’s done so much for squash, especially in England.

“I’ve been playing well recently and it’s good to get this kind of win. I was moving well and I was happy with some of the shots, I’m looking forward to playing again tomorrow. I lost to Diego last time, so I hope that if I play him I can get my revenge.”

His quarter final opponent, Elias meanwhile, ensured a safe passage through to the next round after he defeated World No.37 Parker in straight-games.

The No.4 seed continued his rich vein of form which saw him win his maiden Platinum title at the Qatar Classic last month as he prevailed in a tough first game before comfortably dispatching Parker in the second to storm through at London’s East Wintergarden.

“It’s always fun to play George,” said Elias. “You know what’s going to happen, it can be crazy or normal but it’s always fun. I’m happy with this win and I’m enjoying it.

“Qatar was the biggest win of my career. I enjoyed it a little bit but I knew it was time to work hard again and I’m ready for this tournament. Paul [Coll] is one of my closest friends on Tour and it was great to play in the final and the first final with no Egyptians for years.”

The quarter finals of the Canary Wharf Classic take place tomorrow (November 17) and play will begin at 18:00 (GMT). All of the action will be shown live on SQUASHTV.

Fans can stay up to date with the latest news on the tournament by visiting the event’s official website or by following the Canary Wharf Classic on Twitter.

Results: Canary Wharf Classic – Round Two (bottom half)
[4] Diego Elias (PER) bt George Parker (ENG) 2-0: 11-8, 11-3 (32m)
[8] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt James Willstrop (ENG) 2-0: 11-6, 11-4 (32m)
[5] Joel Makin (WAL) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 2-0: 11-9, 11-8 (46m)
[2] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Youssef Soliman (EGY) 2-0: 11-6, 11-3 (32m)

Draw: Canary Wharf Classic – Quarter Finals – To be played November 17
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) v [7] Miguel Rodriguez (COL)
[6] Mostafa Asal (EGY) v [3] Tarek Momen (EGY)
[4] Diego Elias (PER) v [8] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
[5] Joel Makin (WAL) v [2] Paul Coll (NZL)

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