SEMIS : Makin and Coll win marathon clashes
Semi-Finals at East Wintergarden
The battle for the World #1 spot is over, for this week anyway, with only current incumbent Mostafa Asal still in the draw after the other contenders all crashed out.
Asal takes on Joel Makin, while two-time CW champion Paul Coll faces world champion Ali Farag, who looks to be improving match by match as his comeback continues.
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[9/16] Joel Makin (Wal) 3-2  Mostafa Asal (Egy) 12-10, 10-12, 3-11, 11-3, 11-8 (97m)
Makin takes out top seed in five game thriller
Wales’ Joel Makin continued his run of impressive wins to beat top seed Mostafa Asal in five topsy-turvy games to reach his first Canary Wharf final.
Game Two : Some unforced errors from Asal contribute to Makin taking a 7-2 lead, but Asal comes back strongly Asal to level at 7-all. Point for point to 10-10, but this time Asal wins in, as for the second time the video ref gives Asal the stroke on Makin’s movement.
Game Three : Asal races to a 6-0 lead, and extends it to 9-3 with both players engaging with the referee after a number of decisions, and takes the lead 11-3.
Game Four : with a new ball, Makin gets off to a good start, 3-0, then from 4-3 reels off seven points to set up the decider.
Game Five : Point for point to 5-all, Asal moves out to 8-5, Makin levels at 8-8, and with an Asal tin moves to 10-8 match ball … another tin and Makin reaches the final !!!
“I was struggling early in the season but this week it’s come together and I’m in a good place and I’m confident. I can beat World #1, #2, #3, #4 as I’ve done this week and at Black Ball. So I’m in a good place.
“I had to do what I had to do to win a match today. That’s not how I want the sport to be played. I don’t want people to be put off from watching it. That’s not what I want to do, but at the same time, you can’t let these guys get away with what they’re doing, I had to level the playing field and find a way through that. It’s not easy to go on there and deal with all these things and still find a way through.
“The final will be quality whoever it’s against, these guys have played big finals and we know what we’re going to get with these guys. Whoever is better at squash is going to win tomorrow and that’s the sport we’re playing so I’m looking forward to that.
 Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-1  Ali Farag (Egy) 11-9, 17-19, 12-10, 13-11 (98m)
Coll outlasts Farag in top quality semi
The packed Canary Wharf crowd were treated to a second marathon semi-final, free-flowing conducted in great spirit and of great quality.
Game One : a quick start from Coll but Farag levels at 5-all, from then it’s point for point to 9-all with a series of lengthy rallies, Farag eventually making the error at 9-10 as Coll takes the lead.
Game Two : A mammoth 34-minute games, with rarely more than a point to choose between them. Coll has more game balls but it’s Farag who takes it 19-17!
Game Three : same again, but this time it’s Coll who squeezes it out early in extra points as Farag gets a ‘no let’ on a tremendous final rally
Game Four : what can you say, another quality game between two equally matched and determined players, Coll edges it in the end !
“As tough as it was physically, I just loved every minute of it,” the Kiwi said.
“My mum sent me a message saying ‘So good to have Ali back just to watch those sort of matches again.’ He’s such a clean, fair player. Hopefully the whole squash world enjoyed it. I definitely did and I think he did. It’s just nice to be part of a match like that.
“I think the crowd were behind both players, it’s such a good atmosphere, some of those rallies were just insane and you could see the crowd loving it, standing up at the end, clapping for Ali as he walked off.
“It’s great to see the respect the crowd has for the players, both players. It’s just fun to be a part of that and to play in front of such a crowd like that. I think that’s why we had matches like that.
“The final] going to be tough, Joel’s playing, I think, almost career best form for him, it’ great to see him climbing the ranks again. He’a taken out number 1 and 2 in the world so it’s going to be a real test tomorrow, physically. I’m excited for the challenge and I’m sure he’s going to have plenty of support as well. So it should be a cracking final.”