New Zealander Paul Coll disappointed home hopes for the third year
in a row when he lifted the Australia Day Challenge squash title at
Ipswich PCYC Squash Centre in the Australian state of Queensland.
Coll, the 22-year-old World No.80 from Christchurch, was favourite
to win the PSA Challenger 5 event for the third time since 2013 –
and duly reached the final without dropping a game.
And to make matters even more galling for local hopes it was an
all-Kiwi final which brought the event to a climax after unseeded
Evan Williams recorded his best run since returning to the Tour
after a year-long layoff following a wrist injury.
The 25-year-old from Wellington made his breakthrough in the
quarter-finals where he ousted second-seeded Australian hope Matthew
Hopkin. In the semis, the former World No.79 despatched fellow
countryman Kashif Shuja, the fourth seed.
Williams then took the opening two games in the final to establish a
surpass lead, but Coll – who had never before beaten his close
friend – regained the upper hand to clinch the match 4-11, 10-12,
11-4, 11-6, 11-3 in 72 minutes.
"It was a bit tougher than last year's final, given I won last year
3/0, and this one went to five," Coll said.
"I had never beaten him, I always find him tough to play. It's good
to finally get one over him, but I'm also really happy just to see
him coming back from injury."
The triumph marks the fourth PSA World Tour title of Coll’s career.