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Paul Coll falls to Farag at Windy City Open

Updated: Mar 21

New Zealand’s Paul Coll has gone down to World Number 1 Ali Farag despite a dramatic fourth game fightback in the final of the Windy City Open in Chicago.

Coll came into the final in hot form, having not dropped a game so far at the tournament. That perfect record was short lived however, as Farag played at pace to take the opener 11-7 after 13 minutes. 

World number 3 Coll bounced back in the second, getting more height into his shots and elongating the rallies, forcing seven errors from Farag as he took the game comfortably.

A tough rally opened game three as the match continued with no sign of a physical let-up from either player. Farag then regained control, attacking the forehand side to go 2-1 up. 

The Egyptian started the fourth game in style, showcasing the talent that has seen him sitting comfortably as world number 1. With Farag 10-6 up on championship ball, the game appeared to be over, but Coll had other ideas, saving three championship balls, then drawing a huge roar from the crowd as he crunched a backhand winner down the line to send the game to a tie break. 

A series of brutal rallies followed with the players going point for point. Farag edged ahead at 14-13 then claimed the win on his sixth championship ball, playing a backhand squeeze which Coll could only help into the tin. 

“I’m very relieved after missing opportunities to finish out the match,” Farag said on court, after his win. 

“It’s testament to Paul’s character. He never gives up until the very end. I was preparing for a fifth game and I think that settled me down a bit and made me play a little bit better. I have the utmost respect and admiration for Paul, the way he raises his game season after season.”


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