Paul Coll wins third Canary Wharf Classic title

March 21 2023

Paul Coll of New Zealand secured a third GillenMarkets Canary Wharf Classic title at the spectacular East Wintergarden in London following a hard-fought 7-11 11-6 11-4 11-4 final victory over Joel Makin of Wales.

The Welshman started confidently, winning eight of the opening ten points of the match, to win the opening game in 20 minutes and looked set to repeat his surprise second round victory over the New Zealander at the Black Ball Squash Open in Egypt just fourteen days earlier.

Coll, who had showed his fighting qualities by extending the rallies in the closing stages of the opening game, adopted a more attacking style to level the match at one game apiece and continued to exert his dominance in the preceding third and fourth games to close-out an impressive 82-minute victory.

“It's amazing, man. Last week I was struggling a bit, to be honest, mentally after, Black Ball [and the] last five months. I haven’t felt myself on court. So it was a big week for me to find myself on court and find my game that got me to [World] No.1. This week was huge for me,” said the former World No.1.

“I owe it all to my whole team. So many people that got me going in the right direction last week. This tournament was just fully for them. Today actually, to be honest, when I woke up this morning, I thought I’m just going to do this for them. Everybody who put a lot of time in to me and made sure I was okay and picked me up [through] some dark times on tour.

“So this is one of the best feelings I've had ever, to be honest. It's a really, really cool win for me and a huge milestone. Different feeling [to winning the British Open], that are obviously pinnacles and dreams come true. This was something… a different sort of milestone in my career. It's a new thing for me.

“To find myself on court, from being [World] No.1 and dropping down. It’s a whole new process for me. I rate Joel [Makin] highly and how good he is and I could lose to him on any day of the week. It was how I lost [at Black Ball], how I was playing. It wasn't me on court. That’s what probably got me the most. It's what pissed me off the most.

“I've got three weeks now, I've planned my whole season around, these tournaments so I’ve got three weeks, go back training, going to go to Birmingham early train with my coach. I'm just going to focus on myself, continue the squash that I've played here, this mindset, this brand of squash that got me to the top and got me winning the last two British Opens.

“I'll give it everything. But you know, there are some quality players playing at the moment the top five, top six, I mean, Joel’s ten in the world and look at what he's doing this week. Nothing’s going to be easy. Nothing's going to be taken for granted. I'm going to come in with a very clear head and, very confident in my abilities and how I play squash.”

2023 GillenMarkets Canary Wharf Squash Classic, East Wintergarden, London, England
[4] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [9/16] Joel Makin (WAL) 7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (82m)

[9/16] Joel Makin (WAL) bt [1] Mostafa Asal (EGY) 12-10, 10-12, 3-11, 11-3, 11-8 (96m)
[4] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [2] Ali Farag (EGY) 11-9, 17-19, 12-10, 13-11 (98m)

[1] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 11-8, 11-4 (29m)
[9/16] Joel Makin (WAL) bt [7] Tarek Momen (EGY) 11-5, 11-9 (36m)
[4] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [8] Mazen Hesham (EGY) 11-7, 11-8 (34m)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [5] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) 11-9, 2-11, 11-7 (37m)

2nd Round:
[1] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt [9/16] Victor Crouin (FRA) 11-5, 11-3 (24m)
Baptiste Masotti (FRA) bt [6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-11, 11-6, 11-5 (31m)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [9/16] Patrick Rooney (ENG) 15-13, 11-6 (29m)
[9/16] Joel Makin (WAL) bt [3] Diego Elias (PER) 11-5, 11-7 (31m)
[4] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [9/16] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 11-9, 11-9 (39m)
[8] Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt [9/16] Nicolas Müller (SUI) 11-9, 11-6 (27m)
[5] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) bt [WC] James Willstrop (ENG) 12-10, 12-14, 11-8 (49m)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 11-5, 11-9 (22m)

1st Round:
[1] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bye
[9/16] Victor Crouin (FRA) bt Sébastien Bonmalais (FRA) 11-2, 11-6 (26m)
Baptiste Masotti (FRA) bt [9/16] Youssef Soliman (EGY) 12-10, 11-9 (36m)
[6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bye
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) bye
[9/16] Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 11-6, 11-3 (23m)
[9/16] Joel Makin (WAL) bt Auguste Dussourd (FRA) 11-3, 11-8 (35m)
[3] Diego Elias (PER) bye
[4] Paul Coll (NZL) bye
[9/16] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) 11-7, 11-8 (24m)
[9/16] Nicolas Müller (SUI) bt Raphael Kandra (GER) 11-7, 11-3 (20m)
[8] Mazen Hesham (EGY) bye
[5] Mohamed ElShorbagy (ENG) bye
[WC] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [9/16] Grégoire Marche (FRA) 11-1, 3-0 ret. (7m)
Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt [9/16] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 11-7, 12-10 (32m)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bye