King Withdraws from NZ Open due to injury

Day Three Wrap

New Zealand’s Paul Coll was in fine form as he made a triumphant return to the New Zealand Open, less than a week after winning the Hong Kong Open.

Coll was met with rapturous applause from the Tauranga crowd as he took to the court at Baypark Arena against Indian World No.63 Velavan Senthilkuma.

Senthilkuma had upset Shahjahan Khan in round one and Coll was initially watchful, before accelerating away as he recorded 11-7, 11-1, 11-2 wins to wrap up in 28 minutes.

In the days other play, No.6 seed Tomato Ho found it tough going early on against Egypt’s Malak Khafagy in the women’s Open. Ho made uncharacteristic errors as she struggled to construct rallies, with Khafagy taking a 2-0 lead through 11-5, 11-6 wins.

In a scrappy third game, Ho looked much improved and she reduced the deficit with an 11-9 win before levelling with a stunning volleyed drop from the back at 10-6 in game four.

Game five was a nerve shredder. With little quarter given as the players competed for space on court, it was Ho who was able to make the decisive breakthrough, converting her fifth match ball at 11-10 to progress.

“She’s a tough opponent and she can always make trouble for seeded players so I think I’m a bit lucky to come back!” Ho said afterwards.

Ho faces Tesni Evans in the quarter-final after the No.3 seed, returning to the tour after a lengthy injury layoff, breezed past Hong Kong’s Cheng Nga Ching.

In the Lucino Vanities New Zealand Men’s Open, No.4 seed Crouin was also forced to do things the hard way as he survived a bruising encounter with Germany’s Raphael Kandra.

Kandra, who led Crouin 2-0 in this year’s British Open before the Frenchman came back to win 3-2, was in top form early on today, with the German covering the court excellently to smother Crouin’s attack and earn a 2-0 lead.

Just as in Birmingham, though, Crouin adapted, finding ways past Kandra’s defences with increasing ease as he flipped the match on its head with 11-2, 11-2, 11-4 wins.