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Coll draws world no 1 in Chicago

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/02/2017

The challenges keep mounting for in-form New Zealand squash player Paul Coll, whose next game is against the world No.1 ranked player.

Coll drew Egyptian Mohamed El Shorbagy in the first round of the $US150,000 ($NZ209,000) Windy City Open in Chicago. They meet on the world series tournament's opening day on Friday (NZT).

World 16th-ranked Coll is coming off a runners-up finish at the Cambridge Cup in Toronto.

He toppled top seed and world champion Karim Abdel Gaward in the semi-finals before losing to another Egyptian, Tarek Momen, in the final.

El Shorbagy is a daunting opponent, having won the last two British Open crowns along with several other elite tier tournaments since ascending to the top ranking 18 months ago.

Another Kiwi, Campbell Grayson, will contest the qualifying stage this week.

Meanwhile, world No.11 Kiwi woman Joelle King will face a qualifier in her first match in Chicago on Saturday (NZT) and, if successful, could face English fifth seed Laura Massaro second up.

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