R3: Joel in the zone against Paul

[7] Joel Makin (WAL) 2-0 [3] Paul Coll (NZL)  11-3, 11-5 (34m)

Last time Joel won was back in 2016, during the Australian Open. The six next matches were all in favor of the New Zealander, and include some menstruous marathon, like in the Commonwealth in Australia (106m), British Open 2019 (87m for 4 games), Nantes (3 games for 72m), and their last encounter (87m in Channel Vas).

So to be honest, I was expecting a very long match, grueling and physically dwelling.

Instead of that, we saw a completely dominant Welsh, toying with the Kiwi again and again. Joel was present on the middle, powerful as ever, but also extremely high on the T and found some exquisite winners while Paul was pinned at the back, again and again.

For once, the score tells the story: although the games were long and physically draining – 15m and 19m, Paul never got a foot in the door, and will be extremely disappointed with his week.

I’m pretty sure he’ll reassess for the Egyptian Open…

“The difference was tonight that I made sure I hit my spots.

“I just got the length through to the back of the court and I knew what I needed to do tactically. I knew I had to switch and get it past him and I did that exactly how I wanted to. My quality going short was much better and that’s more of the squash I want to play.

“That’s the quality of squash that’s going to get into these guys and that’s what I need to do. If I’m severe going short and confident switching the play with height, then I’ve got a good chance.