Pictured right - Paul Coll at Channel Vas Championships 2016
New Zealand squash players Paul Coll and Joelle King are set to make an impact in the prestigious British Squash Open played in Hull, England this week.
Last year Coll came through qualifying to make the main draw before falling in five games to Australian Ryan Cuskelly in the first round.
This time he is in the main draw as a result of his world ranking of 16 after great results over the past four months including winning the $100K Channel VAS Championship in England. Coll is showing he can match it with the top players in the world having claimed a number of top 10 wins.
Coll, 24 who hails from Greymouth will face British qualifier Declan James ranked 36th in a first up contest at the British Open which the Kiwis says will be tough.
“I played him (James) about two or three years ago in New Zealand and he beat me so I’ll be looking forward to beating him this time on his soil. I’m really excited to play this one. I think it will be Tuesday my time I’m really looking forward to it. People will be able to see I on Squash TV as well and be able to tune in and see how I get on. The British Open is a very prestigious event for us, apart from the world open it’s the best tournament to win.”
If Coll gets through his first round encounter he is likely to face eighth seed Tarek Momen from Egypt in the second round and he’s aware of how difficult his draw could be.
“I definitely look ahead, but I’ll take it from my first match and see how it goes and after that who knows”
The New Zealander has seen his ranking go up from 30 to 16 since December.
“I was in the mid 30’s in December and had some good tournaments in December and January and have improved from there it’s been a good couple of months for me. It was a hard road when I wasn’t winning any tournaments it’s a good feeling to have some money coming it. It all makes it a bit easier.”
Listen to a chat with Paul prior to the event here Paul Coll preview British Open
Also competing in the British Open is Joelle King from the Waikato. King ranked nine in the world has a rich history in the tournament having been a quarter-finalist for four consecutive years 2012-15 and being a fourth see on a number of occasions.
King will face a yet-to-be confirmed qualifier in her first round match.
It is the first time there is equal prizemoney for the women’s event. A total prizepool of US$150,000 is on offer for both the men’s and women’s draws.
The Allam British Open will be on SquashTV from the 21-26 March. To rewatch any of Coll or King's past matches sign up to Squash TV here using the promo code NZ50 to receive 50% off your first 3 months. Coll and King will be on SquashTV from Round 2 onwards. Good luck to our kiwis!
Pictured below - Joelle King at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions