FINALS DAY : Coll is the CW Champion

Kiwi Coll claims Canary Wharf crown …

A new Canary Wharf Classic Champion was guaranteed tonight as Tarek Momen took on Paul Coll in the Grand Final. On an emotional day for New Zealand it was Coll who claimed the title in straight games.

Citigold Wealth Management Canary Wharf Classic : FINAL

Wildcard : Richie Fallows (Eng) 2-0 Josh Masters (Eng)    11-1, 11-4 (17m)

Final: [4] Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-0 [3] Tarek Momen (Egy) 11-8, 12-10, 11-3 (64m)

New Zealand’s Coll beats Momen to become 2019 Citigold Canary Wharf Classic Champion

World No.7 Paul Coll has become the first New Zealander to get his hands on the Citigold Wealth Management Canary Wharf Classic trophy after he overcame Egypt’s Tarek Momen by a 3-0 scoreline in their final fixture at London’s spectacular East Wintergarden.

Both players were appearing in their second successive PSA Tour finals, with Coll falling to Peru’s Diego Elias in the Troilus Canada Cup last week, while Momen went down to World No.1 Ali Farag in the title decider at the PSA World Championships in Chicago a fortnight ago.

A best-of-three games format was used up to and including the quarter-finals in Canary Wharf, with scoring reverting to best of five for the semis and final – and Coll hadn’t dropped a game all tournament. Momen, meanwhile, was looking to match wife Raneem El Welily after she won the CIB Black Ball Open title earlier today.

The 26-year-old Kiwi was sublime in the final as he attacked with accuracy into the front of the court and hit a flawless length game to edge the first two games. The third game was all Coll though as Momen struggled with his movement, and the man from Greymouth closed out an 11-8, 12-10, 11-3 victory in 64 minutes to capture the 13th PSA Tour title of his career.

Tonight’s win sees Coll win his first PSA Tour event since December 2016, when he beat Momen in the final of the Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill.

“It is such a prestigious tournament, there are such phenomenal names on the trophy and to be a part of that is something special,” said Coll afterwards.

“I have played this tournament three times, and I feel like I have played well every year. I love coming here, it is such a well organised event. The atmosphere is amazing, it is packed out every round and I love that.

“I have been trying to make some improvements for a while now, and I really felt them come into my game in the World Championships. I felt quite strong on court. In Toronto, I just lost out in the final and that really hurt me. I was confident in my squash and as long as I could get my head right this week, I was confident. I am really happy with the squash, and also [happy] to stay strong mentally for the entire event.”

Coll also had a message for people affected by the recent tragic events in Christchurch and dedicated his win to them. He said:

“To everyone back home in Christchurch, stay strong.

“It is a horrible thing that has happened to New Zealand and that was for you, and for everyone in Christchurch tonight. Stay strong guys.”

Coll takes home $17,500 in prize money and his next tournament will be the DPD Open in Eindhoven, which takes place between April 9-14, 2019.

 

Fallows claims 2020 wildcard spot

Local hero Richie Fallows finally made his dream come true by playing on the glass court at the East Wintergarden and celebrated with a superb performance to win the Wild Card Challenge in just 17 minutes.

He powered through the opening game to win 11-1 and maintained the pressure to win the second 11-4.

His victory earned him the Wild Card spot in next year’s tournament.

He certainly employed 2020 vision as he dominated the match with tight length and some impressive work at the front of the court.

He said: “Playing on this court has always been a dream of mine and I was very pleased to play so well. Two weeks ago in Chicago I played Simon Rosner on the glass court in Chicago and it was freezing cold and difficult to get the ball to the back of the court.

“I am enjoying my squash and especially playing in the PSL for Nottingham alongside a legend like Nick Matthew.

“It’s about time I moved above him in the playing order!”

Final Preview from Alan Thatcher

With Paul Coll appearing in his first Canary Wharf final, and Tarek Momen aiming to go one better than last year, when he finished runner-up to Mohamed ElShorbagy, we have all the ingredients for a fantastic final this evening.

Momen will be confident after beating ElShorbagy in last night’s semi-finals. Having lost the opening game in his two previous matches, against Raphael Kandra and Ryan Cuskelly, he came out with all guns blazing against Shorbagy but still rode his luck to win 3-1.

He enjoyed some good fortune in the quarter-finals as well, and at one stage was only a few points from crashing out against Cuskelly.

However, that will mean nothing this evening as he faces Coll in the final.

They have met five times in their careers, with Momen leading 3-2. They have met twice before in London, at the Channel VAS Championship at St George’s Hill, Weybridge.

Momen won their last encounter, in the quarter-finals, but Coll achieved the biggest title win of his career when he overcame Momen in the 2016 final.

Coll has looked to be in outstanding form this week, and has yet to drop a game. He has had some close battles with Joel Makin and Mathieu Castagnet, but has kept his nerve on each occasion to win the tiebreaks. Interestingly, his best-of-five win over Castagnet took exactly the same time as his 2-0 win over Makin the previous evening.

Momen knows what an amazing athlete his opponent is and will expect many of his best shots to keep coming back with interest.

It’s a tough one to call, but many observers would like to see a Coll victory simply to avoid the near monopoly on big trophies currently enjoyed by Egypt.

PATH TO THE FINAL

TAREK MOMEN

Second Round: beat Raphael Kandra (Ger) 12-14, 11-4, 11-4 (33m)
Quarter-Finals: beat Ryan Cuskelly (Aus) 8-11, 13-11, 11-5 (51m)
Semi-Finals: beat Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egy) 11-7, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9 (60m)

PAUL COLL

Second Round: beat Tom Richards (Eng) 11-4, 11-5 (27m)
Quarter-Finals: beat Joel Makin (Wal) 11-9, 12-10 (47m)
Semi-Finals: beat Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) 12-10, 11- 5, 11-6 (47m)

TOTAL TIME ON COURT: Momen (144 mins); Coll (111 mins)

Alan Thatcher