8:28 am
21 Apr 2024

Sivasangari & Coll Capture London Classic Crowns

2 Apr 2024

Malaysia's Sivasangari Subramaniam and New Zealand's Paul Coll have been crowned the GillenMarkets London Classic champions after Sivasangari upset world No.2 Hania El Hammamy and Coll overcame Mostafa Asal in the finals of the PSA World Tour Gold event at Alexandra Palace.

No.7 seed Sivasangari, who has played the tournament of her life this week, beating world No.1 Nour El Sherbini in the quarter-final and world No.4 Nele Gilis in the semi-final, played more of the thrilling attacking squash that had proved so effective throughout the championship.

The world No.13, who last year returned to the tour after recovering from a life-threatening car accident, made a great start to today's final and came close to winning it quickly when she had multiple championship balls in game four.

Incredibly, El Hammamy - who beat fierce rival and world No.3 Nouran Gohar in the semi-final - saved the match balls to force a fifth game, but could not keep up with the Malaysian's relentless pace and clinical accuracy, with Sivasangari becoming the first Malaysian to win a Gold-level or higher event since Nicol David in the 2015 Hong Kong Open with an 11-9, 5-11, 13-11, 12-14, 11-8 win in 81 minutes.

After her match, Sivasangari said: "There are no words really to summarise. I'm really pleased with how I handled myself this week, beating three of the world's top four players.

"It's been an unbelievable journey after what happened two years ago."

In an injury-curtailed men's final, Coll overcame fellow former world No.1 Asal in a stop-start encounter.

The Kiwi dominated the first game, which he took 11-8 before Asal hit back with a 13-11 game two victory.

Coll regained his lead with an 11-7 win in game three and made a rapid start to game four.

Unfortunately, it soon became clear that Asal was struggling with an injury, and the Egyptian retired hurt with the score at 8-1 to Coll in game four.

Afterwards, Coll said: "I hope Mostafa's OK. It was a real battle today and he really took it to me and I had to be on my mettle.

"I really enjoy playing in London. I get a really good home feeling playing here and the atmosphere was wicked all week."

The next event on the PSA World Tour is the Bronze-level German Open 2024 - Presented by Sportwerk, which takes place in Hamburg, Germany between 03-07 April.