Paul Coll (NZL) 3-0  Mazen Hesham (EGY) 11-5, 11-0, 11-6 (38m)
Not sure what to say about the match. I saw Mazen during his previous match receiving treatment on his leg. And it was obvious that his movement was not great tonight.
After not using his leg that much during the first two games, making a lot of errors in particular at the end of the first game, Mazen seemed to throw caution to the wind and started to really play his unorthodox squash with brilliance in the third. But again, a few errors allowed Paul to take a nice lead, 8/4, and it’s 10/5, 11/6 in 18m last game – Paul had a little stoppage for a blood injury.
The pair have contested many brutal matches in the past and, while Coll had won all three of their previous fixtures, their average match time was 70 minutes coming into today’s match.
Right from the off, it looked as it there was little chance of tonight’s encounter lasting that long, with Coll dominating the ’T’ and profiting off a number of errors from Hesham’s racket. The Kiwi stormed into a 2-0 lead and Hesham failed to put a single point on the board in the second game.
Coll’s march to victory was halted briefly in the third game while he got a cut on his knee seen to by the physio, but the 2019-20 PSA World Championship runner-up soon closed out the win in straight games to set up a quarter final fixture against either Tarek Momen – who won that World Championship final – or Welshman Joel Makin.
“I’m very happy to get off in three. Mazen can make you do an unbelievable amount of work and some big lunges, and it can be really damaging on your body. But I managed to close it down today, I felt like I was seeing it better and it’s nice to get on this court, it’s a very true court and very nice to play on, so I’m happy with tonight’s performance.
“My knee is fine, I didn’t even know I had done it. It’s a brand-new floor, so it’s nice and grippy and it’s got a bit of grit on the surface, so I think there could be a lot of that this week if you lunge and scrape your knee, it will take a bit of skin off but no dramas.
“I’ll just have a hit tomorrow, I think we get 30 minutes on the court, so I’ll smash that out. I’ve got my physio here, so we’ll do a bit of work in the gym together, a bit of activation and mobility stuff. I’ll be flying come the next round, I’ll be 100 per cent.”