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Paul Coll

Canary Wharf Classic: Quarter Finals - Player Reaction

It's quarter-finals day of the Canary Wharf Classic LIVE on SQUASHTV, as the remaining eight players battle it out for a place in the semi-finals.

Play at the iconic East Wintergarden – which is a best-of-three-games format – begins at 18:00 (GMT), and you can stay up to date with all the reports and player reaction here.

You can catch all the action live from the East Wintergarden on SQUASHTV.

You can also keep up with the live scores from the event here.

Order Of Play
(All times local – GMT)

Momen gets his revenge on Asal

Tarek Momen and Mostafa Asal

The opening match on quarter final day at the Canary Wharf Classic was a highly anticipated rematch between World No.4 Tarek Momen and US Open champion Mostafa Asal.

This was the fourth meeting between the pair since September, with Asal victorious in all three previous matches.

A first game with both players finding their rhythm entertained a packed out crowd at London’s East Wintergarden. Momen trailed for most of the game before capitalising on some loose shots from his younger opponent to take the opening game 11-8.

Momen, even after suffering a hand injury at the start of the second game, managed to keep his momentum going and find some impeccable winners at the front of the court to close out the game 11-3 and secure his place in the semi-finals.

“I think my hand hit my knee cap as I was hitting my shot and it sort of paralysed half of my hand,” said Momen in his post-match interview.

“I’m glad I could finally take advantage of the three-minute injury break, it always gets used against me so finally I can make some good use of it myself.

“I had my mobility back but still had tingling in my hand and was a bit worried that if he can get a few quick points the momentum could shift because I had a good first game. I was trailing all the way through and managed to overturn the score and win it so I started well I the second. I really needed that momentum to keep going and thankfully I had a few shots in at the very early stage of the game with a few lucky bounces. There are some days that it works your way, he’s had some days against me where it has worked his way so today was my turn.

“I’m just happy with the way I played today given all the history it’s tough to get your head in the game and I managed to do that well today and stay calm. I always like to enter every match just thinking about the game plan, cancel out everything that’s happened before, only focus on my game and I’m very happy I could do that today.

“Both [Ali Farag and Miguel Rodriguez] are really good friends, I’m sure the match will be entertaining, I definitely hope they can play for over an hour, I hope it’s a great match and I hope tomorrow I can pay a really good match with whoever wins it.”

Result: [3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [6] Mostafa Asal (EGY) 2-0: 11-8, 11-3 (27m)

Farag on fire as he moves to the semi-finals

Ali Farag beating Miguel Rodriguez

It took the No.1 seed Ali Farag just 22 minutes to defeat Colombia’s Miguel Rodriquez in an entertaining quarter final match.

Miguel delighted the crowd with his trademark electric movement and creative shot making to trouble the World No.1 in the competitive first game exchanges. Rodriguez fell behind at the start of the game but gathered momentum as the game went on. However, he couldn’t claw the deficit back and Farag took the first game 11-8 in 11 minutes.

The current World Champion took no chances in the second game, increasing the pace and pinning the Colombian in the back corners, making life very difficult for Rodriguez. Farag moved quickly through the gears as he raced out to a 6-2 lead in the second game before closing it out 11-3 to continue his pursuit of the Canary Wharf Classic title.

Farag had this to say about the match:

“I wouldn’t say we played an exhibition match, he played the exhibition show, I was watching,” said Farag.

“Miguel is such an entertainer, what I admire so much is he can do it whilst playing serious squash as well and winning the British Open and achieved so much whilst playing such entertaining squash. I don’t know how he does it. I leave the show for him and I play my own squash but it’s always exciting and entertaining and fair to play against Miguel, I really enjoyed the match today.

“I’ve been playing well so far, I can’t complain. Both matches were totally different conditions, we had a flyer of a ball yesterday and today it was a bit slower and was difficult to get the ball to the back corners. It took a while to get used to it but I’m very happy with the way I dealt with it and I’m very happy to get through to the next round.

“I was warming up so couldn’t watch everything [of the match before] but watched bits of it. Both are brilliant players, they’re evenly matched every time they play, this time Tarek came out on top so I’m going to have a tough match tomorrow but one which I will really enjoy.”

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [7] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) 2-0: 11-8, 11-3 (22m)

Cool, calm and collected from Coll

Paul Coll

Paul Coll produced a clinical display against World No.9 Joel Makin to advance to the Canary Wharf Classic semi-finals. It was a battle of attrition between the two players at London’s East Windergarden with some traffic issues slowing down play at times.

A superb technical display by the New Zealander proved to be too much for the Welshman as he closed the match out 11-5 11-6 in 44 minutes. Pleased with the way he took to his game plan, Coll had this to say after the match:

“I’m feeling really good and I’m super happy with that performance,” said Coll. “Joel’s a really solid player that matches my physicality so it came down to me trying to play a really good squash match and just super happy with that performance.

“He’s very strong across the middle as soon as I left the ball short I was in a lot of trouble and he can pick up a lot of balls. It was a challenge for my squash and my patience and mentality and playing the right shot at the right time so just really happy to win that 2-0 and get through to the semis super fresh.

“I’m in a new stage of my career that I’m working through mentally, this is a big tournament for me, a big match for me. I’m expected to win all these matches now, I try to leave all that stuff off court because its stuff you can’t control so very happy sight, the performance, a lot on the line for me so just really happy.”

[2] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [5] Joel Makin (WAL) 2-0: 11-5, 11-6 (44m)

Elias sets up Qatar final repeat

Diego Elias beats Gregoire Marche

The final match of the day was between France’s Gregoire Marche and an in form Diego Elias from Peru. The ‘Peruvian Puma’ produced a smooth performance to defeat the Frenchman 2-0 in 38 minutes.

The Peruvian carried on his fine form, showcasing his amazing control to twist and turn the Frenchman and make it extremely difficult for Marche to make any headway in the match.

Elias has set up a repeat of the recent Qatar Classic final against Paul Coll for the semi-final. Elias got the better of the New Zealander on that occasion 3-1 and will be looking for a similar result tomorrow night.

“I’m not used to best of three,” said Elias afterwards. “I’ve done well this week, it’s a different warm up, different mentality and in Qatar I was 2-0 down against Greg so I knew I had to be at my best from the first point, so I’m happy I did that and against Paul it’s like the final again in Qatar.

“I think in the head-to-head its 2-2 so it’s always tough, but you never know, tomorrow’s another match and I just need to prepare well and be ready.

“It’s always long with Paul, I have to go on court with that mentality to be there for a long time and I think I’ll be alright.

“Greg is like all the French payers , at the start it’s so fast and they get everything back. I had to stay patient and clam and the ball deep to create opportunities.”

[4] Diego Elias (PER) bt [8] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 2-0: 11-7, 11-7 (38m)

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