Zealand’s World No.33 Paul Coll lifted the biggest title of his
career after a sensational final performance saw him beat Egypt’s
Tarek Momen to capture the 2016 Channel VAS Championship at St
George’s Hill in Weybridge.
Coll had started the match in the qualification stages and caused
three huge shocks en route to his first ever PSA M100 final,
scalping Hong Kong’s Max Lee, Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez and
England’s Daryl Selby, all of whom are ranked inside the world’s top
Momen had only dropped one game on his way to the final - beating
former World No.1 James Willstrop in the last four - but it was Coll,
the 24-year-old from Greymouth, who was in supreme form to take the
match in straight games, with a steely display enabling him to claim
an 11-7, 13-11, 11-4 victory that will see him surge into contention
for a place inside the world’s top 20 in next month’s rankings.
a bit surreal, I had no idea I would be in the final, let alone win
it," said Coll.
"It's been an amazing week for me and a real confidence booster. I'm
going to have a good Christmas and it will make the flight back to
New Zealand a lot more enjoyable.
"Physically, I've had some tough matches and they've all been pretty
long. But my body has held up well and I've been doing some good
recovery. It's been a long week mentally, so I had to make sure I
was switched on and focused the whole time because if you switch off
against these guys you pay for it."
iconic former World No.2 Ross Norman - the highest ranked New
Zealander of all time and the man who ended Pakistani legend
Jahangir Khan's incredible 555-match unbeaten run - was in
attendance at the St George's Hill Lawn Tennis Club, and the
57-year-old was full of praise for his younger compatriot.
"He played fantastically, he didn't do anything wrong, he just
played the right game for the final," said the 1986 World Champion.
"He did everything right, and that's what wins you the matches in
tournaments like these as well, it's fantastic."
New Zealand’s Paul Coll and Egypt’s Tarek Momen will contest the
final of the 2016 Channel VAS Championship at St George’s Hill after
they claimed big wins over English duo Daryl Selby and James
Willstrop in the semi-finals of the PSA M100 tournament in
The duo’s only previous meeting on the PSA World Tour came during
last month’s Qatar Classic, where a spectacular five-game-thriller,
which lasted an incredible 101 minutes, saw Momen take it 17-15 in
an entertaining decider.
No.33 Coll - who started the tournament in qualification - earned
his place in the final after following up shock wins over Hong
Kong’s Max Lee and Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez with a stunning
win over World No.16 Selby, taking the victory 11-6, 11-7, 4-11,
11-5 to reach a maiden PSA M100 final.
“I'm so happy, it's been a wicked tournament for me and it's given
me a real confidence boost” said Coll.
"I just relaxed out there and let everything go and it paid off for
me. I knew I played really well in the first two and I played quite
fast, so I knew that there was going to be a drop off in pace. He
really stepped up and made me pay for it, and I knew in the fourth
that I really had to tell myself to step up on the ’T'.
"Physically, I was feeling fine, but it's been a long week for me,
so I had to really make myself step up on the 'T' and push the pace.
I didn't expect to get this far, I'm going to have to change my
flights back to New Zealand for Christmas."
meanwhile, ended a two-match losing streak against former World No.1
Willstrop, with a magnificent performance from the World No.11
seeing him take it in straight games.
The 28-year-old from Cairo chased and harried Willstrop throughout
the 55-minute fixture at the St George's Hill Lawn Tennis Club to
claim an 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 triumph that sees him join Coll in his
biggest ever final.
“I didn't think we would be facing each other that soon,” said Momen
about his final opponent.
“Paul is a unique player, he's so quick and elastic. You know you're
not going to get away with putting the ball away against him, so the
game plan has to be very, very disciplined and executed quite well.
He's a great player and I hope we have a great match tomorrow.
“It would mean a lot [to win], it would be my biggest title. My
biggest so far is a 50K, so to win tomorrow would be such a
privilege. I don't like to focus too much on the title, I prefer to
focus on the match in hand and hopefully, if I can get the win, I
can enjoy it.”
Zealand qualifier Paul Coll claimed his second major shock of the
2016 Channel VAS Championship at St George’s Hill after he came
through a thrilling five-game battle with World No.13 Miguel Angel
Rodriguez in Weybridge to reach his first ever PSA M100 semi-final.
The previous two days of action had seen a number of surprise
results, with the top two seeds Mohamed ElShorbagy and Omar Mosaad
bowing out, while Coll himself had caused a big upset on day one
after the World No.33 defeated Hong Kong’s World No.18 Max Lee.
But the 24-year-old from Greymouth raised his game even further
against Rodriguez as the duo wowed the gathered spectators at the St
George's Hill Lawn Tennis Club with a series of high-octane
exchanges throughout the 102-minute encounter. Coll twice came back
from a game behind, before he battled to victory in the decider to
wrap up the biggest win of his career by a 9-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6,
“I'm very happy at the moment,” said Coll.
“I’m a bit tired, it was a long match, but I'm excited just to keep
playing and to get some experience against these top guys.
“I just tightened up [in the fifth game], got him behind me, and
stopped giving away strokes and lets."
Coll will go up against in-form Englishman Daryl Selby for a place
in the final after Selby kept up his terrific recent form with a
fine display against Ghosal to reach a fourth straight PSA World
The 34-year-old from Essex opened up his tournament with a
sensational victory over World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy, and he
followed that up with an 11-5, 11-3, 11-6 win over Ghosal to move to
within one win of the final.
“I felt like I played really well, I don't know how it looked from
the outside, but I felt like I hit my targets well and can't have
made too many mistakes,” said Selby.
“I don't think Saurav played badly, I made two mistakes in the
match, which says it all really. I guess Saurav still hit winners in
the double figures.
“If I keep playing like that I'll be tough to beat. If someone beats
me, they're going to have to play well, so I've just got to keep it
going. It’s nice to win 3-0 for once.”
World No.1 James Willstrop and Egyptian World No.11 Tarek Momen will
go head-to-head in the other semi-final after they achieved
respective wins over South African Stephen Coppinger and World No.6
Willstrop recovered from a game down to take the match in four, and
the 33-year-old Yorkshireman is now just one win away from reaching
back-to-back PSA World Tour finals for the first time since 2013
after he also made it to the final of the AJ Bell British Squash
Grand Prix earlier this week in Manchester.
"I don't think the tactics really changed that much from either of
us, the game kept on the same pattern," Willstrop said.
"It was just about who was going to come out of the first two games
the better. I suppose that's where I can sometimes impose myself on
players, so I've got to try and make sure that I can do that."
meanwhile, went 10-3 down in the opening game of his match against
ElShorbagy, but a drop in intensity from his opponent saw Momen
storm back to take the next nine points in a row, and that first
game triumph acted as the catalyst for a straight games victory.
"I can't tell you how pleased I am to win in three today," said
"I wish Marwan all the best, I know he is a great player. It wasn't
his day, but I'm sure he can bounce back much stronger."
African qualifier Stephen Coppinger bridged a 16-place World
Rankings gap to upset World No.8 Omar Mosaad as the first round
action at the 2016 Channel VAS Championship at St George’s Hill, PSA
M100 tournament drew to a close in Weybridge.
The opening day of the tournament saw three of the four matches go
the way of the lower-ranked player - with World No.1 Mohamed
ElShorbagy being the biggest casualty after he lost to Daryl Selby -
and Coppinger looked to be following suit after an error-strewn
performance from Mosaad saw the World No.24 go two games ahead.
Former World No.3 Mosaad managed to vary the range of his hitting
though in the third and fourth games to restore parity, but the
errors on his backhand side in particular handed the momentum back
to Coppinger in the decider, and he pressed on to take it 11-8,
11-9, 6-11, 6-11, 11-3 in 77 minutes.
"I think today I was far, far more relaxed than I normally would
be," said Coppinger.
"Normally, I would be looking to really push the pace and just throw
everything at it from the word go. I think that actually helped
because I didn't feel like I was going for high risk shots.
"It's been a good season so far, so I've been fairly confident with
my game. I'm just looking forward to the rest of tournament and long
may it last, every day is a bonus."
World No.1 James Willstrop also got his tournament off to a
successful start after the Yorkshireman defeated Swiss qualifier
Nicolas Mueller in straight games.
Willstrop was appearing at the event just four days after losing out
to bitter rival Nick Matthew in the final of the AJ Bell British
Squash Grand Prix in Manchester, but showed no signs of fatigue as
he dictated the tempo in the early exchanges, finding all four
corners with his pinpoint accuracy to unsettle Mueller’s rhythm and
go a game ahead.
Mueller responded with an attacking brand of squash in the second as
he looked to play the ball into the front corners, but Willstrop
pushed through to victory, before coming out on top in a
high-quality third game to seal the win by an 11-7, 11-9, 11-8
"I backed up alright, if I can play Nicolas and win 3-0 against him,
then it's a promising start," said Willstrop, who will play
"I've done my best over the last couple of days to get away from the
squash court, keep the body moving and I’m doing everything I can to
keep it healthy.
"It feels like I've done a decent job, and I've got to keep looking
after it because it is a bit heavy to play back-to-back tournaments
like that, but I was ready for it. I would much rather it was tough
and back-to-back than being out early, so it's good."
World No.6 Marwan ElShorbagy ensured that he didn’t follow his
brother out of the tournament after he came through against
defending champion Chris Simpson in four games.
The 64-minute battle was a high-quality fixture, with both players
trading blows in an absorbing encounter that saw few unforced errors
and consistent line hitting throughout, and it was the man from
Alexandria who recovered from a game down to claim a 10-12, 11-8,
11-7, 11-4 victory.
“I was really looking forward to being on court today, I like this
venue, especially because my sponsors [Channel VAS] are sponsoring
this event,” said ElShorbagy.
“Every match that I play now is going to be tough and you have to
prepare mentally for each match. I'm really happy to get the win
No.11 Tarek Momen set up a mouthwatering quarter-final clash with
ElShorbagy after he defeated tournament wildcard and local hero Joe
Lee to dash home hopes at the St George's Hill Lawn Tennis Club.
“From the very beginning, I knew that I wasn’t going to play a
regular match, I knew that he would be a very tough opponent for
me," said Momen. “He played really well today.”
Daryl Selby came up with a magnificent display on his 400th PSA
World Tour appearance to shock World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in five
games on the opening day of main draw action at the 2016 Channel VAS
Championship at St George’s Hill held in Weybridge.
The 34-year-old had lost his last five matches against ElShorbagy
and looked to be heading to a sixth successive defeat after falling
2-1 behind. Selby showed nerves of steel though to halt his
opponent’s momentum in the fourth and draw level, and he followed
that up by edging the fifth to wrap up a fantastic win by a 13-11,
9-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9 margin.
“It's about confidence and belief,” said Selby.
“I’ve always believed I was a top 10 player, but having the
confidence to believe that I can play a top five player and win is a
whole different kettle of fish.
“I played well and I really am delighted to beat Mohamed because he
deserves that World No.1 status. His consistency is without a doubt
the best on Tour, and to beat the World No.1 is a special feeling.”
Zealand’s Paul Coll was also in inspired form to claim one of the
biggest wins of his burgeoning career against Hong Kong’s Max Lee,
recovering from a game down to defeat the World No.18 by a 3-2
World No.33 Coll battled through qualification to reach the main
draw, but his tournament looked to be coming to an end after he fell
2-1 behind to an experienced Lee.
However he responded brilliantly to force errors from his opponent
and, with cramp beginning to take hold of Lee in the latter stages
of the decider, Coll pressed on to close out a superb 9-11, 11-7,
5-11, 11-5, 11-4 victory to advance to his first ever PSA M100
“I'm very happy, Max is a quality player, I've been watching him for
a few years and I've always thought he had the potential to get into
the top 10,” said Coll.
“I'm very happy with the win and with the way I stuck in the game.
It's one of my best wins for sure, he's in the top 20 and he's been
there for a while.
“I was just happy to make the main draw, so everything is just a
bonus from now on. It's a good Christmas present already and
hopefully I can get better.”
No.1 Saurav Ghosal will take on Selby in the last eight after he
ended a seven-match losing streak to former World No.5 Borja Golan.
Golan had spent three months on the sidelines due to a herniated
disc, and Ghosal capitalised on the former World No.5’s lack of
match fitness as he claimed a 11-5, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8 despite strong
resistance from the Spaniard.
“In my head, I've been working really hard, but the results haven't
shown the work that I've put in, and it gets to you mentally, no
matter how long you've been on the Tour," explained World No.22
“We all want to win, and we all want to prove ourselves to get
higher in the rankings. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked out for me
the way I would have liked this year, but I just have to keep
working, which is in my control. If I keep doing that then hopefully
the results will go my way.”
World No.13 Miguel Angel Rodriguez was the other player to emerge
victorious on day one after he defeated Frenchman Gregoire Marche in
straight games to set up a quarter-final clash with Coll.
“It was tough because he is very talented and he’s been improving
over the last six months,” said Rodriguez.
“It’s never easy because he’s also very fast and he has quick hands.
He must be very proud of the way he finished this year, he did a
great job. But I came here with a purpose, to win my matches, to be
a little bit more aggressive and enjoy it a little bit more."
champion Chris Simpson returns to the St George's Hill Lawn Tennis
Club between December 8-12 as he kickstarts his attempts to retain
his Channel VAS Championship at St George’s Hill crown in Weybridge.
Simpson, the World No.20, claimed his first ever PSA M25 title at
last year’s tournament, beating experienced Englishman Daryl Selby
in the final to end a 17-month title drought on the PSA World Tour.
After hovering just outside of the world’s top 20 for the past two
and a half years, Simpson finally earned his place amongst the
world’s elite last month and he is aiming to cap off 2016 in style.
"I’m really looking forward to the tournament, it's great to have
another major tournament in England," said Simpson.
"I have been going to St George's Hill to play tournaments since I
was 12, and have fond memories there. I qualified for my first World
Series event there, and won my first 25k event on the all glass
court there last year.
"The crowd is always great at St. George’s, and I will be looking to
end the year on a high there once again."
The Channel VAS Championship offers the second biggest prize purse
in Europe this season, with it’s $100,000 prize fund - a 300 per
cent increase compared to last year - bettered only by the
prestigious British Open, and will see the likes of World No.1
Mohamed ElShorbagy, his brother, World No.6 Marwan, and former World
No.1 James Willstrop all battle for honours in a top-class draw.
Title sponsor Channel VAS has also committed to donating 100 per
cent of the ticket sales to children’s charity CLIC Sargent, who
offer cancer support for young people.
World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy will headline a high-quality draw when
the Channel VAS Championship at St George’s Hill Open, PSA M100
tournament gets under way on Thursday December 8 at the St George's
Hill Lawn Tennis Club in Weybridge.
The tournament has grown exponentially over the past year, with it’s
lucrative $100,000 prize fund - which is four times bigger than last
year’s - making it the second biggest PSA World Tour event to take
place in Europe after the iconic British Open.
ElShorbagy appears at his last PSA World Tour event of 2016 as the
Egyptian looks to bring a year which has seen him win seven Tour
titles to a triumphant close.
The Bristol-based 25-year-old has a tough first round encounter
against 2015 runner-up Daryl Selby in store, with the Englishman in
a rich vein of form after claiming a first World Series semi-final
berth since 2012 at last week’s Qatar Classic - a tournament which
saw ElShorbagy reach the final.
ElShorbagy is seeded to meet ‘Colombian Cannonball’ Miguel Angel
Rodriguez in a mouthwatering semi-final, with World No.8 Rodriguez
facing a qualifier in round one.
On the other side of the draw, World No.4 Omar Mosaad and
ElShorbagy’s younger brother, World No.7 Marwan, are seeded to
line-up against each other in the last four.
Mosaad begins his tournament against a qualifier, but could come up
against former World No.1 James Willstrop in the quarter-final stage
if both players win their respective first round encounters, with
Willstrop winning the most recent meeting between the two during
last month’s Delaware Investments U.S. Open.
Marwan, meanwhile, locks horns with defending champion Chris Simpson
in round one, and the 23-year-old will be eyeing up a final clash
with his older brother.
second biggest squash event to be held in Europe this year will be
the $100K Channel VAS Championships which will take place on the all
glass court at the prestigious St George's Hill Club in Weybridge
Surrey from 6th-12th December.
The tournament will feature 16 of the world's top male squash
players including World number 1 Mohamed El Shorbagy, World number 4
Omar Mosaad , Marwan El Shorbagy the world number 7 and Tarek Momen
WR 9 four of the top six Egyptians who are currently the dominant
nation in international squash.
Top British hope in the draw is former World number 1 James
Willstrop who has climbed back to number 11 after a career
threatening injury. Willstrop will be joined by last year's champion
Chris Simpson WR20, one of several top class squash players to have
come from the island of Guernsey and another former British Champion
Daryl Selby WR 19 who is in the form of his life teaching the last
16 of the world championships having just won in Macau
The event will also display an impressive array of international
talent including Canary Wharf Champion Frenchmen Mathieu Castagnet
WR12, the spectacular retriever Miguel Angel Rodriquez from Columbia
WR 8, Borja Golan WR15 the highest ever ranked Spaniard, , Hong Kong
Open semi finalist Max Lee WR17.
Wild Card Joe Lee WR47 who has played at the host club since he was
a small boy completes the line up of 12 players automatically in the
The players above will be joined by four qualifiers from the
qualifying tournament which takes place on 6th and 7th December.
The qualifying tournament is also impressively strong with several
big names including Indian number 1 Saurav Ghosal, top South African
Steve Coppinger, Frenchman Gregoire Marche, New Zealand number 1
Paul Coll and Swiss number 1 Nicolas Mueller.
Local interest apart from wild card Joe Lee will centre around Tom
Richards the England International who has been ranked as high as
number 12 in the world. Tom has also played at St George's Hill
since he was two years old.
ENGLAND junior number 1 Charlie Lee 18, brother of Joe Lee and also
a lifelong club member will also be competing in qualifying
alongside 19 year old Matthew Broadberry another impressive local
who is currently studying at Nottingham University.
The St George's Hill Club is a prestigious members club set in
beautiful grounds on the world famous St George's Hill estate. The
club has some of the finest grass courts in England and is one of
only two clubs in the UK with an all glass squash court.
The court has a capacity of 230 which is small for a $100K PSA World
Tour event but it's sure to be full to the rafters with fans who
will provide an electric atmosphere for the players.
Bassim Haidar the chairman of Channel VAS is an enthusiastic player
at St George's Hill and it was his dream to bring the world's to
players to the club.
The event was conceived by promoter and club professional Danny Lee,
a former world top 30 player who ran a smaller tour event with
Channel VAS's support last season. Mr Haidar was keen for the
tournament to grow and along with raising the profile of his
company, he has decided to donate all proceeds from ticket sales to
CLIC Sargent, a charity which helps support children with cancer and
their families. Mr Haidar's daughter Talia has suffered from
leukaemia for several years and has been helped by CLIC Sargent. She
presented last year's winner trophy to Guernsey's Chris Simpson.
The tournament will be televised worldwide by Squash TV which
broadcasts in over 80 countries. In Europe live coverage will be
provided on Eurosport player.
Please contact Danny Lee for more information about the local and
British players competing.
James Willstrop is quite famous globally as former World no 1 and
British no 1 he also writes for the Yorkshire Post weekly, has
written many newspaper articles and a book which was short listed
for Sports book of the year and highly commended in reviews
worldwide . It is called " A shot and a ghost " He also acts, plays
cricket and sings in a band with Simply Red's bass player Sylvan