Squash: Kiwi Paul Coll battles from brink of defeat against rival Ali Farag to claim London title

Paul Coll celebrates.
Paul Coll celebrates. Photo credit: Supplied

Kiwi squash star Paul Coll has pulled off a remarkable comeback to beat world No. 1 Ali Farag and win the Optasia Championship on the PSA Tour at London.

The world No.2 seemed headed for a one-sided defeat, after dropping the first two games of the match 11-8 11-2 and finding himself 7-4 down in the third against the Egyptian star.

Coll stayed in the fight, battling his way to a 12-10 win in the third, before closing out victory 12-10 11-9 in the final two games against Farag, who was fasting during the month of Ramadan.

"It was a massive battle out there tonight," said Coll. "I just want to say I've got the utmost respect for Ali, not just for the athlete he is, but for the person he is.  

"I think that's why he's so dominant this season. I put lot of work in the off-season to get back to my fighting best.  

"I didn't feel like I had that last season. I was doing all my breathing techniques, all my mental things, because it was a real battle.

"I had to come back several times. I had my coach come down today, which really helped me."

The win gives Coll a 3-2 edge on the season ledger against his rival and earns him a winner's cheque of US$110,000 (NZ$180,000).

The Greymouth product says he was buoyed by the support of his family and friends, including partner Nele Gellis of Belgium, who had hours earlier lost the women's final to Japan's Satomi Watanabe.

"Seeing my childhood friends in the front row was something special, and hearing my girlfriend who had a tough loss come and support me," he added. "All these people around me really got me up today.

"I'm proud of the fight I put in... another just really enjoyable battle with Ali out there.  

"I've enjoyed every match this season and I'm happy to get another win."

The title is Coll's first since his triumph at the Hong Kong Open in December, avenging his defeat to Farag in the final of last month's Windy City Open at Chicago.

The tour remains in England for the London Classic later this month.