New Zealand’s Paul Coll has achieved a number of records in his time on the Tour and in March 2022, he became the first Kiwi male to become the sport’s World No.1.
His first Tour triumph came at the Australia Day Challenge in 2013 and, after claiming a further title that same year, he retained the Australia Day Challenge in 2014 and again the following year. Kiwi Coll picked up his fifth title at the next event, the Open de Paris in March 2015 and claimed his third title of 2015 at the NT Open two months later.
Coll forced his way into the world’s top 50 in the September 2015 World Rankings with victory over then Australian No.1 Cameron Pilley in the final of the Australian Open the previous month. He ended the year in style by defeating Ben Coleman to lift the London Open, but it was 2016 where Coll really made a name for himself.
After a series of stunning dives against former World No.1 James Willstrop during March’s Canary Wharf Classic earned Coll the nickname ‘Superman’, the Kiwi took three titles on the bounce in June in his home country. Coll’s breakthrough moment came in December’s Channel VAS Championship in Weybridge, where he battled through from qualification to lift his first PSA M100 title - upsetting established top 20 players such as Max Lee, Miguel Angel Rodriguez, Daryl Selby and, finally, Tarek Momen to claim his place among them in the January rankings.
He then made the semi finals of the Canary Wharf Classic and the China Open in the early part of 2017, and the quarter finals of the World Championships. Coll finished runner-up to Marwan ElShorbagy at the Motor City Open at the start of 2018, before also finishing runner-up in the China Open, losing to the other ElShorbagy.
He made the last eight in every tournament he entered from then, up to the end of the 2018-19 campaign, including semi final appearances at the US Open and the Black Ball Open in the latter part of 2018, and he was rewarded with his best ever spot of World No.5 in the World Rankings in April 2019.
After quarter final appearances at the Tournament of Champions and the World Championships, Coll went on to win the Canary Wharf Classic, the biggest title of his career to date. He then followed that up with more quarter final showings, this time at the DPD Open and El Gouna International, before reaching the last four at the British Open in Hull.
The 2019-2020 was Coll’s best on the PSA World Tour, failing to reach the last four at just two events. He started with victory at the Open de France - Nantes presented by Tailor Capital, defeating Joel Makin at the Chateau des ducs de Bretagne. That was followed with a semi-final appearance at the CIB Egyptian Squash Open, before he went all the way to the final of the PSA Men’s World Championships, becoming the first Kiwi to reach a World final since Ross Norman.
Coll then led the New Zealand side at the WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championships in Washington, D.C. that December, with the Kiwi quartet coming home in 5th place, their best finish at the tournament since 1993.
Back on the individual stage, and Coll made it to the final of his last two events before the COVID-19 enforced suspension of the Tour. He lost out to Tarek Momen in the final of the Troilus Canada Cup, before narrowly missing out on a first major title at the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family.
The Kiwi No.1 reached the semi-finals of the Manchester Open on his return to the professional sport following the COVID-19 suspension. He then went on to become the first Kiwi to reach the top four in the World Rankings since Ross Norman, thanks to reaching the final of the Qatar Classic.
Another runner-up finish came for the Kiwi at the 2021 El Gouna International, before he finally was able to get his maiden major title, beating World No.1 Ali Farag in the final of the Allam British Open, as he continued his march up the World Rankings.
Two more victories at the end of the year, both against against Farag, at the Canary Wharf Classic and the CIB Squash Open Black Ball, cemented Coll as the World No.2, bearing down on the Egyptian for the top spot in the men’s game.
Coll finally took over the World No.1 spot in March of 2022, becoming the first male New Zealander to ever reach the summit of the World Rankings. In just his second day as the sport’s leading player, the Kiwi won the Windy City Open Presented by the Walter Family.
He then followed that up with another victory at the Allam British Open, retaining his crown a year on from becoming the sport’s latest major winner. Semi-final appearances at the CIB PSA World Championships and Necker Mauritius Open followed, along with finishing runner-up at the El Gouna International and CIB PSA World Tour Finals.
Four years on from missing out in the final of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia, Coll got his hands on the Gold Medal in the Men’s Singles, as he defeated Welshman Joel Makin in four games in the final of the Birmingham 2022 Games, becoming the first male Kiwi to take Gold in squash. He also secured the Mixed Doubles Gold Medal alongside compatriot Joelle King.
Coll finished runner-up at both the CIB Egyptian Open and the Robertson Lodges New Zealand Open, before ending the year with a semi-final appearance at the Everbright Securities International Hong Kong Squash Open.