New Zealand’s world No.11 Paul Coll has put in a polished performance to win his first round match at the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York.
With his ranking slipping slightly to just outside the top 10 Coll showed solid form to overcome world No.24 Zahed Mohamed of Egypt.
Coll, the 25-year-old from Greymouth who reached the quarter-finals at last year’s tournament, was efficient right from the beginning of the match and he went a game up after profiting off six unforced errors from Mohamed.
Mohamed showed glimpses of quality throughout the encounter, hitting a stunning cross court nick towards end of the opener but Coll was too consistent and dictated the pace of the match as he surged to an 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 win in 44 minutes.
"I felt very good out there and I’ve got good memories on this court from last year. I’ve been working hard over Christmas and I was a bit disappointed with my last appearance (at the PSA World Championships) so I worked pretty hard for this. It’s definitely a different feeling this season being ranked where I am now compared to last year, but I’m enjoying coming into the first round fresh and not having any matches under my belt,” said Coll.
"I’m just trying to stay relaxed and I’ve got good people around me and watching me. I’m just focusing on my game and my strengths and going from there. I felt really good on court today, a lot of the stuff I’ve been working on was coming off, so I’m extremely happy with where my game is at and it’s a good start to the year,” said Coll who plays world No.14 Ramy Ashour from Egypt in the second round.
Auckland’s Campbell Grayson won through qualifying to make the main draw, however he lost out to third seed and world No.3 Ali Farag from Egypt in his first round match 11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 11-4.
Meanwhile Joelle King, is the women’s ninth seed and is scheduled to play a qualifier on Monday morning.
The US$165,000 men’s tournament and US$165,000 women’s events run from 18-25 January and has many of its matches played in a glass court in Grand Central Station in New York.
Result:  Paul Coll (NZL) bt Zahed Mohamed (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 (44m)
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-0: 11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 11-4 (50m)