Kiwi squash star Paul Coll is disappointed in himself after getting caught up in mid-game antics during his quarter-final defeat at the Egyptian Open, which was overshadowed by bad sportsmanship from his opponent.
On Thursday, world No. 5 Coll Coll lost to the 18th ranked Mostafa Asal 11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 3-11, 10-12 in a 104-minute thriller at the New Giza Sporting Club in Cairo.
Coll led 2-1 in sets before 19-year-old Asal fought back to secure a famous win, and he celebrated by throwing his shirt and sweatband into the crowd, which was followed with some exuberant dance moves.
Asal, the reigning world junior champion, was warned for unsportsmanlike conduct during the close contest, and his antics left commentators and fans stunned.
Speaking to Newshub, Coll said he doesn't feel that's how the game should be played.
"It's not the way I was brought up to play sport," Coll told Newshub from his hotel, which had views of the pyramids. "That's our culture, as Kiwis we're brought up that way.
"I like to play a fair, clean game, I'm happy to battle it out, but I'm all for fair play and those are the matches I enjoy more."
While Coll was disappointed with his opponents' sportsmanship, he was annoyed at himself for losing control of the match after being in a commanding position.
"I felt like I was the better player in the opening three sets, then mentally I stopped focusing on my tactics and got caught up in antics in the match.
"It was very stop-start. I should have won three-love, but that is the thing that frustrates me the most, I felt like I should have won.
"It was to his advantage to stop the game and take the physicality out of the match.
"Whether he was doing that on purpose I'm not sure, but you do get different styles of players.
"I was frustrated that I let him back into the game."
Coll will be determined to right the wrongs at the next tournament at the Qatar classic which gets underway next month.
The process for getting into Qatar is different from other countries as Coll will be required to get three COVID-19 tests before the tournament, along with a four-day quarantine.
Coll said he will need a test before leaving Egypt when arriving in Qatar and again four days before the tournament.
The 28-year-old from Greymouth hopes to return to New Zealand soon, but won't until the country stops the two weeks managed isolation inside a hotel room.
"I'd love to come back to New Zealand. As soon as that two-week hotel quarantine rule eases off I'll be on the next flight home.
"I'll continue to base myself in Europe so if tournaments pop up, it's not as far to travel."