Un-seeded Paul Coll from New Zealand was too good for top seed Cameron Pilley, defeating him 11-7, 5-11, 11-6, 11-5 in the Australian Squash Open final at Melbourne over the weekend.
Going into the tournament (August 3 – 9), 23-year-old Coll, who is Pilley’s training partner, was far from confident that he could win the title – so much so that he had booked his flight home for Saturday afternoon, the day before the final.
It was the first time a New Zealander has won the title. “I never even imagined being here,” Coll said after the match.
Pilley, who hails from Yamba, recently invited Coll to train with him in The Netherlands – where Pilley is based.
Preparing for the match, Pilley, who lost the Australian Open to fellow Australian Stewart Boswell in a five-set thriller in 2009, said it would “be a little weird playing Paul [Coll], given we train together so much.”
On the day before the final Coll said: “Words can’t describe how happy I am now. I didn’t even think I could do it; I’ve had to change my flight home because I’m supposed to be leaving in an hour from now.
“I train a lot with Pilley, but I wouldn’t say I know his game because he’s pretty tricky.”
After the final, Coll said Pilley was a “great guy”.
“We get on well, I hope he keeps on with me, he’s a really experienced player and I can still learn a hell of a lot from him.”
Meanwhile, Yamba’s other squash professional, eighth seed Donna Urquhart, was unable to maintain the good form she showed in the earlier rounds, where she had two comfortable 3-0 wins.
In her quarter final, Urquhart won the first set 11-1 but lost the next three sets 11-5, 11-1, 11-1 to eventual tournament winner, New Zealander Joelle King.
King was the tournament’s second seed; she defeated top seed Annie Au (Hong Kong) to make it a winning double for her country.