Paul Coll (Nzl) 2-1  Gregoire Marche (Fra) 9-11, 11-1, 11-5 (59m)
A good, very good first game in again warm condition even at 10pm, Paul extremely comfortable but Grégoire applying the same tactic he used against Joel in the first round.
Fast pace, twist and turn, back and front, good accuracy at the back, and excellent short game from both, with maybe Grégoire a bit more varied shot wise. The French is always in the lead and despite getting a bit frustrated at the ref/video ref decision – on the same line than the match against Tarek – the Acrobat takes a 31m first game, 4/1, 7/3, 8/8, 9/9, 11/9 on a no let confirmed.
O errors from Paul in that long game, 1 for Greg. High quality indeed.
Second, all about the Kiwi, 11-1 in 10m.
Third will last 15m of hard work, Grégoire giving it all he didn’t have anymore, Paul being his Superman self, keep raising the pace when needed and keeping the ball going to hurt his opponent, 3/0, 8/3, 9/4, 11/5 again on a no let confirmed by the video ref, 15m…
Not a single error from Paul again, 1 for Greg.
Like the French said, he didn’t do much wrong tonight…
Paul : “I thought it was quite a high quality match,”
“He started very well and it took me a while to adapt to the temperature of the ball. He got a lead at the start of the first and towards the end of the first, I felt I started to hit my areas, but he just held onto that lead. In the second and third I felt like I controlled the match quite well and I was happy with how I finished.
“I was on top of the table but if I lost tonight the last two days meant nothing. I had to fight out there tonight and very pleased to go undefeated through the pool stages and looking forward to the semi-finals.
“I think it will be similar to tonight. Tonight was pretty much knockout matches for who would go through. Just got to go out there and look forward to playing Mohamed. It will be good, he is on top form but I’m feeling good out there at the moment.”
Greg : Why do we do it to ourselves (smiles)
Don’t think I did much wrong… Strangely enough, out of my three matches, that’s the one I was the most comfortable racquet skills wise. But even with that in mind, on a court like that, against Paul, two or three perfect shots are not enough, and it can become a bit frustrating at times.
I did a very good opener, solid, happy with my level of squash there, a big drop of energy in the second, I try to rest at the end there to give it all in the third, which I think I did pretty much.
Bad start in the third, a bit unlucky there, and then it’s hard to come back in the game. Not too far away though, 4/3, but after that, he run away with it. As I didn’t want to leave the court with still gas in the tank, gave it all. I think I’ll sleep well on the plane tonight!
Still, a lot of positive to take from this week, never I thought I would be here, I see that I am close to beat everybody, so that’s very comforting for the worlds in 3 weeks.