Diego Claims Record Fourth Motor City Open Crown
5 Feb 2024
World No.2 Diego Elias captured a record fourth consecutive Sturbridge Capital Motor City Open title and his first title of the season after a superb straight games victory over world No.3 Paul Coll in the final of the PSA World Tour Silver event at the Birmingham Athletic Club in Detroit.
Elias and Coll, who have both held the world No.1 spot within the last 12 months - and were contesting their 14th Tour clash - weren't willing to give an inch to one another in the first game, engaging in a number of gruelling, high-quality rallies, which included some even better retrievals.
After trading points to 4-4, and later moving to 9-9, it was Elias who turned the screw in the pivotal moments in the first, hitting a brilliant overhead backhand drop to bring up game ball, and subsequently claiming the first game after 15 minutes of action.
Coll, celebrating his 40th Tour final appearance, returned to the court with a visible plan to push himself higher up the court and use his drop to greater effect. However, despite the New Zealand No.1 taking an early 4-2 lead, the 'Peruvian Puma' clawed back at this deficit and retook the lead as the game progressed.
Spurred on by his one-game advantage in the match, the top seed started to free the arm and fire the ball in short whenever given the opportunity. After bringing up game ball at 10-9, Elias doubled his lead after being awarded a stroke.
The third game continued in a similar vein, with Coll and Elias evenly matched in the opening stages - but as was the case throughout the match, Elias edged ahead as the game drew towards its close. A couple of soft errors on Coll's part when well placed at 4-4 allowed the 27-year-old to move ahead, and from there he never looked back. Elias brought up match ball after 47 minutes of action and converted at the first time of asking, hitting an inch-perfect backhand drop agonisingly out of Coll's reach.
After claiming the 16th Tour title of his career, Elias said: "Yeh, I'm super happy to win here again in Detroit, it's my fourth in a row, five finals in a row. I'm happy with my performance in every round of this tournament and I'm excited for more.
"We always have really crazy matches, I think the head-to-head is 7-7 now. I kind of learned from our last match where I lost pretty comfortably in Hong Kong. I was really excited for this one, and really happy I could win in three.
"I think every game was really close, that game at 9-9 in the first was very important, I think I got a bit of confidence and I could attack a bit more. I'm just happy that I could stick to my game plan and that everything worked.
"I'm very excited for the rest of the season, I actually lost my last five or six finals before this one, so I needed this one and hopefully I can win a couple more this season."