R2: Paul Coll 3-0 Leonel Cardenas

[2] Paul Coll (NZL) 3-0 Leonel Cardenas (MEX)  11-6, 11-5, 11-4 (40m)

Next opponent : Eain Yow Ng

Tonight, Paul – coached by Rodney Martin – didn’t want to hang around and test the court. He wanted to get out as quickly as possible and make sure that he would keep all the energy for the battles to come.

Leonel fought extremely hard as he knows how in the opener, it was a great balance of height and low kills, with a lots of attacking shots or counterdrops from the New Zealander. A 15m game going 11/6 to Superman – who has a great following in Egypt with the kids. 9 winners for Paul in that first one.

Although Leonel didn’t slow down, I was a bit surprised how quickly he was trying to finish the points, playing to the front nearly all the shots instead finding his accurate back shots before getting Paul to the front. It’s only at the end of the match, when I saw Leonel chatting with Derek Ryan, the PSA physio, and I understood he actually developed a physical issue. That made a bit more sense then, him trying to finish the points early.

Paul will be very happy to close the match in 40m. He now moves to the “Other Side”, the Museum to play one of the players in form, Eain Yow Ng.

Paul :  “It’s hot conditions with a bouncy ball. I wanted to try not going into a retrieving passive stage – I tried to hit on the volley and hit the simple shots when they came. I’m very happy with how I played to get through in three sets.

“I haven’t seen much of his play but I’ve seen his results. He had a big win in El Gouna, fighting back from 2-1 down against Joel so I knew he was going to be tough, he could hang in there and put some work in. I couldn’t let up and I wanted to try and keep him working the whole time and not let him into the game after seeing what he did in the last tournament.

“I’ve got to try and play well every round and take it as it comes. Everyone is targeting the World Champs, even the lower-ranked guys—if they get through another round, it’s more prize money and points. It’s the biggest points and money, and everyone’s chasing that, so they’re going to come at you, so you can’t take them lightly.”