Malaysia’s Ng downs top seed Coll to reach Quarter Finals
Malaysia’s World No.24 Eain Yow Ng scored a major upset on the second day of the MARIGOLD Singapore Squash Open, as he came from two games down to defeat New Zealand’s World No.2 Paul Coll to reach the quarter finals of the PSA World Tour Gold level competition at the OCBC Arena.
The Malaysian might have been forgiven for being fatigued after a 90-minute battle with Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal on the opening day of the competition, but he showed no signs of that, despite falling two games behind.
The Kiwi, who featured in the final of the New Zealand Open just three days earlier, won both of the first two games by an 11-9 scoreline, moving into the lead in the match, and looking like he would take a straight games victory. However, the Malaysian fought back. He went 5-0 up in the third, but Coll brought it back to 8-8. Ng was able to regroup to win three of the last four points, winning it 11-8.
Ng continued his fight back with a rapid start in the fourth game where, despite Coll saving a couple of game balls, he won it comfortably 11-5 to set up a tense deciding game. Everything seemed to work in the fifth for Ng, and with Coll showing signs of fatigue, the Malaysian was able to secure his spot in the quarter finals, and take a big upset victory. He will now face Welsh No.1 Joel Makin in the last eight.
“To be honest.. I don’t even know how I’m feeling. I am still processing it. It means a lot this time round because I have been knocking on the door for quite a long time now,” Ng admitted.
“It has felt like forever since I got a win against a top ten player, and I have gotten close a few times. To pull through today, to the finish line, I am really proud of myself! I just want to say thanks to Andrew [Cross, Malaysian National Coach] who is here helping, my parents supporting and to the crowd for their support, it’s been amazing!
“Once I went 2-0 down, I stopped thinking. In the first two games, I was thinking a bit too much, trying to play a little bit too perfect. From the third game onwards, I just believed in myself and tried to play my own game, playing with my own instincts. I kept running, and I hit a lot of winners today compared to what I normally do. That was encouraging, but it was still a big mental battle. I was 5-0 up in the third and he came back strong. I really had to dig deep to get that third game and it really helped me in the fourth and the fifth.”
The other surprise result on day two saw Belgium’s World No.14 Nele Gilis come from behind to defeat US No.2, and World No.11, Olivia Fiechter.
The Belgian fell behind after the first game, as Fiechter came firing out of the blocks. A change of plan going into the second game worked wonders for Gilis, though, who came back to take the second, before then winning both the third and fourth comfortably, with 11-4 scorelines. The Belgian will now play US No.1 Amanda Sobhy in the quarter finals on Friday.
“I am very happy with my performance today. A bit of a slow start but she came out firing, so after the first, I knew I had to change something in my gameplan,” Gilis said.
“I am very happy that I mentally stuck to that, and I kept being patient. I am very proud of that performance. She is such a fighter! Her strengths are on the volley and with anything in the middle, she is lethal. Honestly, I tried to focus on taking those weapons away from there, and I am glad I managed to do that!”
Elsewhere, Egypt’s fifth seeded Tarek Momen had to survive a comeback from Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez, eventually winning after 68 minutes in a fifth game. He will now take on England’s Mohamed ElShorbagy on Friday evening.
Egypt’s Rowan Elaraby and Nour El Tayeb will also do battle once again in the women’s quarter finals.