Willstrop and Selby exit Channel VAS semi-finals
By SEAN REUTHE
New Zealand’s Paul Coll and Egypt’s Tarek Momen will contest the final of the 2016 Channel VAS Championship at St George’s Hill after they claimed big wins over English duo Daryl Selby and James Willstrop in the semi-finals of the PSA M100 tournament in Weybridge.
The duo’s only previous meeting on the PSA World Tour came during last month’s Qatar Classic, where a spectacular five-game-thriller, which lasted an incredible 101 minutes, saw Momen take it 17-15 in a nailbiting decider.
World No.33 Coll, who started the tournament in qualification, earned his place in the final after following up shock wins over Hong Kong’s Max Lee and Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez with a stunning win over World No.16 Selby, taking the victory 11-6, 11-7, 4-11, 11-5 to reach a maiden PSA M100 final.
Coll said: “I’m so happy. It’s been a wicked tournament for me and it’s given me a real confidence boost.
“I just relaxed out there and let everything go and it paid off for me. I knew I played really well in the first two and I played quite fast, so I knew that there was going to be a drop off in pace. He really stepped up and made me pay for it, and I knew in the fourth that I really had to tell myself to step up on the T.
“Physically, I was feeling fine, but it’s been a long week for me, so I had to really make myself step up on the T and push the pace. I didn’t expect to get this far, so I’m going to have to change my flights back to New Zealand for Christmas.”
Momen, meanwhile, ended a two-match losing streak against former World No.1 Willstrop, with a magnificent performance from the World No.11 seeing him take it in straight games.
The 28-year-old from Cairo chased and harried Willstrop throughout the 55-minute tie at the St George’s Hill Lawn Tennis Club to claim an 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 triumph that sees him join Coll in his biggest ever final.
“I didn’t think we would be facing each other that soon,” said Momen about his final opponent.
“Paul is a unique player, he’s so quick and elastic. You know you’re not going to get away with putting the ball away against him, so the game plan has to be very, very disciplined and executed quite well. He’s a great player and I hope we have a great match tomorrow.
“It would mean a lot [to win], it would be my biggest title. My biggest so far is a 50K, so to win tomorrow would be such a privilege. I don’t like to focus too much on the title, I prefer to focus on the match in hand and hopefully, if I can get the win, I can enjoy it.”
PSA M100 2016 Channel VAS Championship at St George’s Hill, Weybridge, Surrey, England.
[Q] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 11-7, 4-11, 11-5 (59m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt  James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (55m)
[Q] Paul Coll (NZL) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
Pictures courtesy of PSA