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Coll beaten in world championships semis

Paul Coll has been beaten in five sets by Mostafa Asal at the World Championships
Paul Coll lungs for a forehand in his five-game loss to Mostafa Asal in the semifinals of the World Championships PHOTO: PSA WORLD TOUR

Paul Coll has been beaten in a five-game thriller by Mostafa Asal the PSA World Championships semifinals in Egypt.


Asal will take on Diego Elias in the decider tomorrow evening, with the Peruvian also featuring in his maiden final in this tournament.


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West Coaster had the measure of Asal from their recent meetings, winning the last four, including the final of the London Squash Classic.


However Asal made a positive start as he mixed the pace well with his strong line hitting giving him seven game balls in the first. Four of those were wiped out by Coll, but Asal finally converted at the fifth attempt.


The Egyptian then took his chances in the second set before Coll got off to an ideal start in the third as he upped the pace and taking the ball early to go in front. Asal’s ruthless accuracy got him back into the game, but Coll did enough to halve the match deficit.


The New Zealander was starting to find his feet, and he was managing play much better in the fourth, getting in front of Asal and utilising the drop to restore parity.


Asal looked to be well on his way to booking his place in the final of the World Championships when he had three match balls, only for Coll to save all three to send the fifth into a tiebreak. However two strokes went against the kiwi, confirming Asal’s spot in the final.


“Fair play to Paul [Coll] – he’s an amazing athlete coming from 2-0 down. I’m really grateful. 

“In between games, at 2-2 he [James Willstrop, Asal’s coach] said to me, ‘come on it’s a World Championships. Why aren’t you giving your 100 per cent?’ All credit to him and it’s a turning point having this legend behind me.”


The eventually score was 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 3-11, 12-10 in 83 minutes.


The next tournament for Coll is the British Open starting the first week in June in Birmingham.

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