FINAL : It’s a third title for Coll !!!
The 20th Canary Wharf Final at East Wintergarden
The 20th edition of the Canary Wharf Classic concludes tonight with a fascinating final.
You can Watch Live on SquashTV – and on broadcasters around the world – follow on Live Scoring, and we’ll have Results and Reaction right here with updates on our Social streams and Photo Gallery.
 Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-1 [9/16] Joel Makin (Wal) 7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (82m)
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It’s a CW Hat-Trick for Coll
New Zealand’s Paul Coll secured a third Canary Wharf Classic title after coming from behind to defeat Welshman Joel Makin in a high-quality final.
Makin who got off to a flying start in the opening game, winning eight of the opening ten points as his new more attacking style paid dividends. Coll fought back, but Makin took the game 11-7 after 20 minutes.
Coll regrouped and got the better of the second and third games to take the lead, and took a 6-0 lead in the fourth – although those six points took 20 minutes to complete!
That was too much of a gap for Makin to close and Coll ran out the winner 11-4 to complete his third win.
“It’s amazing, said Coll. “Last week I was struggling a bit mentally after, Black Ball and the last five months, I haven’t felt myself on court so it was a big week for me to find myself on court and find my game that got me to World No.1.
“This is one of the best feelings I’ve had ever, to be honest, it’s a really, really cool win for me and a huge milestone.
I rate Joel highly and I could lose to him on any day of the week. It was how I lost at Black Ball, how I was playing, that’s what probably got me the most.
“I’ve planned my whole season around these tournaments so I’ve got three weeks, go back training, go to Birmingham early train with my coach. I’ll give it everything, but there are some quality players playing at the moment the top five, top six, Joel’s ten in the world and look at what he’s doing this week.
Makin said: “I tried to put that match together as best I could. All credit to Paul, I came out really well, I got my tactics right and I was disrupting him but he nullified that really well in the second. He started to get into that metronomic pace he gets into. He got a better grip of that backhand side than I did, so I can’t complain.”
2023 Final Preview
BY ALAN THATCHER
Tonight we bring the curtain down on the 20th anniversary edition of the GillenMarkets Canary Wharf Classic with what promises to be an outstanding final between Paul Coll (New Zealand) and Joel Makin (Wales).
Both battled through marathon matches last night, Makin overpowering world No.1 Mostafa Asal and Coll seeing off an incredible challenge from Ali Farag, who has only recently returned to court after a lengthy injury lay-off.
Makin’s five-game win took 96 minutes and Coll was on court for two minutes longer as four extraordinary games unfolded with three tiebreaks, of which the second, won by Farag 19-17, took 33 minutes.
Coll and Makin are the fittest and toughest guys on the PSA World Tour and both have the physical capabilities to absorb such brutal punishment.
Their head to head record shows Coll leading 12-3 but Makin beat the New Zealander in four games in last week’s Black Ball Open in a battle lasting 90 minutes.
Last year they produced an epic contest in the Commonwealth Games final in Birmingham, with Coll winning the gold medal after 102 minutes of enormous physical investment.
Makin’s triumph in Cairo was one of six recent wins over higher ranked players. He beat Victor Crouin in the final of the Canadian Open, then took out Coll and Marwan ElShorbagy in Cairo. This week he has beaten the world No.1 and No.2, Asal and Diego Elias, and gained revenge over Tarek Momen for that semi-final defeat in the Black Ball Open.
The Welshman has revealed an aggressive, high-speed attacking game this week to complement his well-known fitness and resilience, but he knows that the latter qualities will be required in abundance this evening.
Coll has looked in excellent form this week, dealing comfortably with two potentially troublesome encounters with the gifted Egyptians Karim Abdel Gawad and Mazen Hesham.
He is keen to finish the season strongly after an up and down campaign in which he has surrendered the world No.1 ranking he worked so hard to achieve last year.
Completing a hat-trick of titles at Canary Wharf, and on his return to Birmingham for the British Open, would put him back in the mix for the No.1 ranking.
A showpiece finale would be a fitting climax to our 20th anniversary tournament, and both of these players are determined to make that happen.
In a season when so much debate has focused on player behaviour, they have also promised to honour the occasion with honesty and sportsmanship to accompany their significant skills and physical attributes.