Paul Coll edges past Mohamed Abouelghar in five, Ali Farag comfortably through in three
 Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-2 [9/16] Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy) 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5 (87m)
 Ali Farag (Egy) 3-0 Mohamed ElSherbini (Egy) 11-4, 11-2, 2-0 rtd (24m)
Coll gets past Abou in five
Oozing with confidence, Paul was playing superb varied squash, attacking superbly while retrieving as only he knows how while Abou was quite calm and patient – tout arrive!!! The opener was huge, close the whole way, 24m, and took a lot out of Mohamed – probably what he then lacked in the fifth…
Second was about the same length, 22m, a few decisions in the game that seemed to frustrate Paul a bit more than usual – I found he was a bit more confrontational with the official he normally is bless him. Abou levels 11/9 but only just.
From 4/4 in the third, Paul looks very comfortable, 9/5, and Superman takes the third “quickly” in 12m. Abou, carried by a vocal crowd, forced a decider 11/5 in 11m, unusual for Paul to let go of a game that quickly.
But it was a good bet, as the New Zealander just whizzed through the fifth, again from 4/4, 9/4, 11/5, 12m…
Then, when things started to settle, I was able to find my attacking shots and my attacking game, but in the last game, I was tired and went for too much to early at the start opening the court ,playing loose shots, and he was able to counter me, thing that he does very well. Which is very frustrating.
Paul : He’s probably the toughest round three opponent you could get,”
I knew before we even started that it was going to be a battle and it lived up to that today. I’m very happy to come through, it was a bit of an up and down match, but I’m happy to find my range on this court and get a good amount of time on there, so I’m a bit more used to where the ball bounces and stuff like that.
I’m going to get some rehab now, some physio and a lot of food into me. Nice rest tomorrow, have a practice tomorrow afternoon and maybe watch an old match of ours [against Marwan ElShorbagy].
It was 34 degrees on the court today, as you can see we’re both just dripping and I slipped in the back corner. It’s quite tough and something you have to deal with. The wind and heat is something different to an indoor court and I’m happy with how I adapted today.
Farag eases past ailing ElSherbini
Injured during his previous match, Mohamed ElSherbini gave it a go tonight, but world champion Ali Farag just made him run too much, and early in the third Mohamed realised the game was up and offered his hand.
The first ever Nationals I won, at under-13, was against him and he beat me a few times in juniors. Unfortunately he had to stop for a bit, he had a life threatening and life changing accident because he’s coming back strong from it, very consistent and disciplined. But I knew that if I put some work into his legs to start with that would pay off.
It was a shame it had to end that way, I hope it’s nothing serious because we have a lot of tournaments coming up.
I keep approaching every tournament the same way, whether I won it or lost in the first round. I come here and try to win it, but there are a lot of big players in the draw and it’s going to get tougher and tougher every round.