King Withdraws from NZ Open due to injury

Coll Digs Deep to Book Spot in Final

Paul Coll has booked his spot in the final of the New Zealand Squash Open after winning a tense battle against France’s Victor Crouin.

Coll (world number three) and Crouin (world number 11) looked set for a tight semi-final from the outset, going point for point for much of the first game in Tauranga as they played long rallies from the back of the court.

It was Coll who pulled away, showcasing his pedigree by hitting several brilliant winners at critical moments to take the first game 11-7.

The Kiwi then moved up the court, looking sharp as he controlled the pace of the match to win the second game.

While Coll was eyeing another three-game win, Crouin had other ideas, upping the quality of the squash he was playing to comfortably take the third game as Coll hit an uncharacteristic number of errors. 

It was another great battle in the fourth with little separating the athletes as the game was locked at 9-all. Coll won that point to get his first match ball which he was unable to convert. The Kiwi held his composure to get a second opportunity, where he closed out the match to the jubilation of a packed home crowd at Mercury Arena.

“The first two sets I was playing really good I felt great but that third set I just sort of lost it and he came out firing,” said Coll.

“I lost my game plan for a little bit but I managed to pull it back at the end there and was very happy with that win.”

Coll NZL Bt Crouin FRA 3-1: 11-7, 11-8, 2-11, 12-10 (78m)

He’ll play Egypt’s Marwan Elshorbagy (world number 8) in tomorrow’s men’s final at 4pm New Zealand time.

“I’m excited, I’m gonna enjoy the occasion, it’s a great atmosphere and I’ve got the whole family here so it’s gonna be great,” said Coll.

Elshorbagy came back from two-games down to defeat Wales’ Joel Makin and book his spot in the final.

In today’s other matches Nele Gilis (Belgium) beat Aira Azman (Malaysia) in a hard-fought four sets.

She’ll meet her sister Tinne Gilis (Belgium) in the women’s final at 3pm tomorrow, after she took a comfortable victory over Tesni Evans (Wales) in three games.

The finals will conclude the New Zealand Open, with the WSF Men’s World Teams Championships to begin on Monday December 11th.

The Lucino Vanities Men’s NZ Open draw and schedule is available here.

The Barfoot and Thompson Women’s NZ Open draw and schedule is available here.


About the New Zealand Festival of Squash

The New Zealand festival of Squash will see more than 500 matches played across three major tournaments. The festival is made up of the NZ Squash Open to be contested December 5th – 10th, the Oceania Junior Championships December 5th – 7th and the WSF Men’s World Teams Championships December 11th – 17th.

With more than 400 athletes competing from across 30 nations, the event is being billed as a fantastic celebration of sport and competition.

Tickets for the 2023 Festival of Squash are on sale with more information available at

The Lucino Vanities Men’s NZ Open draw and schedule is available here.

The Barfoot and Thompson Women’s NZ Open draw and schedule is available here.

The nations for the WSF Men’s World Team Championship are available here.