World No 10 squash player Paul Coll has good reason for wanting a strong performance at the Channel VAS Championships in Weybridge, England this week.

It was at the same tournament last year that the Greymouth 25-year-old rocketed up the standings with the biggest win of his career.

He fought his way from qualifying to take the title, as the world's No 33-ranked player. It was his maiden Professional Squash Association win in the $US100,000 event.

Last month he became the first New Zealand male since Ross Norman in 1995 to crack the world top 10. Weybridge was a serious marker in his rise to prominence in the sport.


"I have some really good memories from last year," said Coll. "I'm looking forward to going back, it's a very good tournament to play in and it's a nice club.

"Winning that event and coming through qualifying was definitely a huge mental breakthrough for me. It gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season, so it was my biggest win so far."

This season hasn't been half bad for Coll either.

He made the semifinals at the China Open, then beat world champion, and No 2-ranked Karim Abdel Gawad in the first round of the US Open, his first win over a top five player.

"I'm happy with the way my game is going and I had a good win against Karim," Coll, ranked sixth for this week's event, said.

"I didn't back it up the way I wanted to (losing to Egypt's Omar Mosaad in the second round) but it's another learning curve, I'll assess what went wrong and how I can fix that for next time, so it's been another positive event.

''There are two ways you can take a loss, it was a painful and very disappointing loss but
I'm pretty hungry to do better next time and not make the same mistakes as I made in that match (against Mosaad).

"I sat down the next day and analysed what went wrong. I'm passed that match and I'm looking forward to the next match already."

Coll will take on Australia's Ryan Cuskelly in the first round early on Friday (NZT) and is seeded to meet world No 5 Egyptian Ali Farag in the quarter-finals.