Superman Vows to Come Out Swinging!


I'm really looking forward to the US Open in Philadelphia this week.

I crossed the Atlantic with a good solid three weeks of training behind me that came on top of my run to the final of the China Open and I believe my game is in good order for the challenge that lies ahead.

One of my main targets at the beginning of the season was to get back inside the top eight as soon as possible and the benefits of achieving that off the back of my run at the China Open have been immediate.

I was due to play Ali Farag, the number two seed, world number two and defending champion in the 2nd round but Marwan ElShorbagy's withdrawal has meant I have now been seeded number eight and instead of Ali I will face my Eye Rackets stablemate Diego Elias on Sunday night and more of that later.

Before I made the journey from Europe to Philadelphia we launched my new clothing line 'PC Clothing' and if you fancy having a look at my exciting and edgy new range then check out the online shop at http://paulcoll.com which launched on Monday.

PC Clothing

But while all of that was nice I am totally focussed on the US Open and that's why we arrived nice and early on Tuesday and I'm feeling strong and fresh.

There is plenty to see and do in Philadelphia and I made sure I visited 'The Rocky Steps', which lead to the east entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and I believe is the second most famous movie filming location in the world…but don't ask me what the first is and no, I didn't run up the Rocky steps!

One thing's for sure I'm going to need plenty of fight to beat Diego. Diego isn't just my Eye Rackets stablemate, he is probably my best friend on tour and although we have trained together plenty and played exhibition matches we have never met on the PSA World Tour in competitive action.

Clearly Diego's game is completely different to Ali's style and that has meant that since the redraw was made on Thursday morning I have had to re-focus and reassess my tactics but believe me, just like Rocky, I plan to come out swinging!

This is my fourth US Open and obviously it is a tournament with a lot of history behind it and also with a $169,000 prize fund, so this really is, you could say, a major moment in the PSA Tour squash season.

Frustratingly the US Open has not been a happy hunting ground for me, with my best showing being the second round, that said I did enjoy one of my best ever wins when I beat Karim Abdel Gawad, the former world champion, there in the opening round.

US Open vs Gawad

All of that is another reason I am so determined to do well. Looking back at the China Open the big pluses for me were that I beat a top five player in Simon Rosner to make the final of the first big tournament of the season.

In the final against Mohamed Abouelghar I had my chances but my consistency, especially at the front of the court, was not what I would have liked.

With the semi against Simon lasting 90 minutes I maybe wasn't as fresh as I would have liked but the semi was always going to be a toughie and that's tournament squash for you.

As a result, the tournament de-brief with my coaching team did emphasise that, despite all the pluses of making the final in China, my front court quality had to be raised and I'm positive the work we have done between Shanghai and Philadelphia will reflect that.

It will need to because Diego is hugely deceptive and I'm going to have to make sure his chances to use that deception and his fantastic hold and racket skills are few and far between while at the same time take my chances when they present themselves.

So, October is a massive month with the Channel Vas Championships in England three days after the US Open finishes and then October ending at the Qatar Classic and you better believe I'm determined to be going into these tournaments on the back of my best ever showing at the US Open.