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King, Coll through ease into squash quarters

New Zealand squash players Paul Coll and Joelle King are both through to the quarter-finals at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Joelle King
Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Coll, ranked second in the world and seeded No.1 for the tournament, had to work hard for his four-game win over Emyr Evans (Wales) after dropping the first set 8-11 but went on to take the next three 11-0 11-5 12-10.

In contrast, King breezed past Georgia Adderley of Scotland 11-3 11-5 11-5.

Coll led 8-5 in the first game and did not win another point. He then applied himself and quickly won the next two games and led 6-3 in the fourth. But Evans came back and even held a game point at 10-9 before Coll closed him out.

“I’ve never come across him before, but I’d heard he is a good player,” Coll said.

“I had leads in the first and fourth games and switched off. I’ll learn from that.”

Coll gave credit to Evans for playing so well on the big stage.

“Having said that, it’s not good enough to have such big leads and relax like that. I was pleased that I played really good squash at times, but my concentration was lacking.”

King said she was aware that Adderley is an improving player.

“She’s been come through the ranks over the past year. She’s even come down to Bristol to train with me, so I knew how dangerous she could be.”

The third New Zealander in the singles was Kaitlyn Watts, who fought hard but found the talented Indian Joshana Chinappa a shade too severe and lost 11-8 9-11 11-4 11-6.

King now plays Englishwoman Lucy Turmel, who is seeded in the 5-8 bracket, and Coll will tackle Adrian Waller (England), also seeded in the 5-8 bracket.

King, 33, is ranked fifth in the world and contesting her fourth Commonwealth Games. She won singles gold in 2018, combining with Amanda Landers-Murphy to take gold in the doubles.

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