Kiwi Paul Coll has rounded out a romantic return to his homeland, capturing his first NZ Open squash title on the same afternoon fiancee Nele Gilis prevailed in the women's final at Tauranga.
Winning through to their respective finals, the pair completed the unique double with straight-game victories over their opponents, with Belgian Gilis required to beat younger sister Tinne, 11-8 11-3 11-8.
"This feels absolutely amazing in front of almost a home crowd," she beamed. "I couldn't have wished for a better event and now I'm really looking forward to enjoying the rest of my time in New Zealand."
Ranked fifth in the world, Gilis, 27, needed 51 minutes to dispatch her ninth-ranked sibling, after both reached the semi-finals last year.
Twelve months ago, Coll was beaten on home soil by England's Mohammed el Shorbagy, but exacted a measure of revenge by defeating his brother Mawan el Shorbagy 11-6 11-6 11-6 to join his betrothed in the winners circle.
The result caps off a fine return to form for the world No.3, who won US Open and Hong Kong Open titles in 2023, beating world No.1 Ali Farag of Egypt on both occasions.
"It’s crazy to have Nele win as well," said Coll. "I really wanted that double win for us.
"I'm super proud of her. The performance she put in tonight shows real strength of character.
"It’s been a full-on schedule lately, but having the support of family and friends here has been amazing, so hopefully we can carry this on for another week."
Both now contest the world teams championships, with Coll joining brothers Temwa and Lwamba Chileshe, and Elijah Thomas in the New Zealand.2023-12-10T07:30:50Z dg43tfdfdgfd