Paul Coll (Nzl) 2-1  Tarek Momen (Egy) 12-10, 7-11, 11-4 (65m)
Incredibly, those two just played in Gouna, on extremely hot court conditions, with Paul just returning the ball high and with no pace at all then, forcing errors out of the Egyptian again and again at the end of very long and gruelling rallies.
Today I was surprised at the start of the match as Paul changed his tactic and was attacking much more, counter dropping and putting his opponent under much more pressure. Well, that tactic didn’t work that well, especially as it was around 30 m past midnight by the time we started the match and the court conditions were quite cold: Tarek led the game from 4/4, 7/4, 10/7.
That’s the moment Paul chose to revert to what worked the previous match and it worked beautifully well. Tarek, patiently, kept attacking and twisting/turning his opponent, but eventually made the error, 5 of them in a row, allowing the New Zealander to take the crucial opener, 12/10 in 27 loonnng minutes.
The second was close, thanks to Tarek offering 2 errors and giving away two strokes in 5 points. 3/3, 4/4. Patiently, he managed to make the court very big for Paul, leading comfortably 9/5, levelling 1/1 game all thanks to two errors from Paul, 11/7 hard work again 19m.
Paul made Tarek still attack a heck of the lot in the third, but the Kiwi cruised score wise at the end, 3/0, 4/4, 11/4 on his first math ball, 7 points in a row…
“We started at 12:30am so I think that was a huge push from both of us to go for 65 minutes at 12:30 at night. I loved it out there, really enjoyed it! Credit to Tarek as well, it’s not often you play at 12:30, so I think you can excuse us for a few arguments,” Coll said.
“It was all about concentration tonight. I just wanted o have no lapses in shot selection and intensity, and I thought I was pretty solid, I was pretty happy. There’s definitely stuff I can work on for the next one but overall, it was tricky conditions and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it, but I would prefer to play at 10 o’clock!”