QUARTERS : Makin downs Momen to reach last four

Quarter-Finals at East Wintergarden

Wales’ Joel Makin gained a measure of revenge for his five game defeat at the hands of Tarek Momen in last week’s Black Ball Open as he upset the seventh seed in straight games to reach the semis.

He’ll now meet top seed Mostafa Asal, who ended the run of France’s Baptiste Masotti in two games, while two time champion Paul Coll will meet world champion Ali Farag, who overcame Mohamed ElShorbagy in the only three-setter of the night.

Read on for reports and reaction …

GillenMarkets Canary Wharf Classic 2023 : Day FOUR, QUARTER-FINALS

[9/16] Joel Makin (Wal) 2-0 [7] Tarek Momen (Egy) 11-5, 11-9 (36m)

[1] Mostafa Asal (Egy) 2-0 Baptiste Masotti (Fra)  11-8, 11-4 (29m)

[2] Ali Farag (Egy) 2-1 [5] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Eng)  11-9, 2-11, 11-7 (37m)

[4] Paul Coll (Nzl) 2-0 [8] Mazen Hesham (Egy)    11-7, 11-8 (35m)


[9/16] Joel Makin (Wal) 2-0 [7] Tarek Momen (Egy) 11-5, 11-9 (36m)

Makin first into the semis

Wales’ Joel Makin became the first player to reach the semi-finals as he avenged last week’s Black Ball Open defeat at the hands of Tarek Momen, taking the match in straight games.

Makin was quickly on top in the first and stayed well ahead to take the lead, and although Momen opened up an early lead in the second, Makin drew level at 8-all and closed out the match with aplomb.

“Last week was ridiculously hard, considering what had happened in that match I thought I played quite well. Physically it just hurt but in this match, I went about it in a completely different way because I had less going into my legs,” Makin said.

“You know what Tarek is going to do, you don’t have to analyse the game at a high level to know he’s so dangerous through the middle, you have to neutralise that as much as you can, it’s never an easy match. I’m very happy to get off with that.

“I’ve played great, free flowing squash all week but it’s not going to be be like that tomorrow. [against Asal]. If my squash is good and I’m playing physically, I’m more than capable of winning these. I look forward to it!”

[1] Mostafa Asal (Egy) 2-0 Baptiste Masotti (Fra)  11-8, 11-4 (29m)

Asal through to semis

Top seed Mostafa Asal is through to the semi-finals after ending the run of unseeded Frenchman  Baptiste Masotti in straight games.

Masotti competed well in the first, but paid the price for a number of unforced errors, and Asal powered away after a close opening to the second.

“Baptiste is an amazing player. He’s one of the toughest players you can play. He’s in form and in form this tournament, which is amazing to see him playing like this.

“My brother Marwan, he just won the BJO U15, he loves him he’s always watching his matches, watching his nicks. I told him, on court after we finished, my brother is your number one fan!”

“I hate best of 3, outside the court, but then I realised I won the World Tour Finals two times… best of 3 and I won Grasshopper when it was best of 3. So I love the best of 3!

“Joel Makin is an in form player, it’s going to be a huge battle tomorrow.”

[2] Ali Farag (Egy) 2-1 [5] Mohamed ElShorbagy (Eng)  11-9, 2-11, 11-7 (37m)

Farag ends Mo’s World #1 bid, for now

Second seed Ali Farag derailed Mohamed ElShorbagy’s bit to regain the world #1 spot with an up and down three game win.

The first was close all the way, but with ElShorbagy looking to be favouring one leg towards the end, Farag took the final points to take the lead.

Far from looking in trouble, ElShorbagy dominated the second, but Farag regrouped to maintain a lead throughout the decider to clinch his semi-final spot.

“Well, it was very enjoyable, as always. Last week at Black Ball, Mohamed came with an onslaught of attacking, I knew that was going to happen, but I wasn’t up to pace for it,” Farag admitted.

“Today it was all about containing that. I think I did that well until the back end of the first game until this grimacing and his little injury that started happening.

“Obviously it changed the way the match looked, and second game]he was so smart, it played into my head a little bit, I didn’t necessarily adapt well to it, but it’s credit to him.

“Then the third I told myself I had to extend the rallies and play longer rallies and try to contain again, and I think I did that well.”

[4] Paul Coll (Nzl) 2-0 [8] Mazen Hesham (Egy)    11-7, 11-8 (35m)

Coll neutralises Hesham

In the final quarter-final of the night, two-time champion Paul Coll managed to keep the lids on the attacking talents of Mazen hesham, winning in straight games with the Egyptian suffering from too many unforced errors.

“With a player like Mazen, it’s hard to sort of feel settled on there in best of 3, you’ve got to start well,” Coll said.

“Again, there were some big points that I identified in the match and I really needed and wanted to win those. I’m very happy with how I played the big points and trusted my game at that stage and got off 2-0.

“I haven’t played Ali in ages, I feel like we were playing every week 12 months ago butI haven’t played him for a while. It looks like he’s he’s back in good form, beating Mohamed  who is on some pretty serious form at the moment. So he must be playing well, it’s going to be hard, good squash. I don’t think I’ve looked forward to a match more in a while.”