Paul Coll (Nzl) 2-1  Joel Makin (Wal) 6-11, 11-4, 12-10 (64m)
H2H between those two was massively for Paul, Joel wining their first encounter in Australia 2016, and last time they played, actually on this court, last year, our first event since the Pandemic.
I was very surprised with the pace Joel imposed in the first game, he really took the game to Paul, twisted and turned him beautifully, even forcing errors out of the Kiwi’s racquet! Up 6/1, 7/3, 9/5, Paul tinning the last two rallies, 11/6. 19m.
3 errors from Paul, 0 from Joel.
Complete reverse in the second, 5/1, 7/2, 9/3, 11/4 , 14m game, with 4 errors from Joel and 1 from Paul.
During the interval – can’t take the actress out of me – Joel asked the physio to come and check/change the plaster he has on the eye to protect the stiches he needed after Greg’s accidental hit above the eye (same than Mohamed!)
The third is the most interesting of those three games, 28m.
Good start from the Kiwi, 3/1, 4/2, thanks to 2 strokes at the start of the game for Paul, Joel not amused. 4/4, 5/5, thanks to 2 errors from Joel.
From that point on, we have a lot of traffic issues on the left hand side in particular, ball called No Up when Paul thinks it’s fine, two no lets in a row for each, both reviewed and confirmed, both players very unhappy with the decisions.
Me, lost the plot, whatever I thought was going to be the call, I got it the opposite of the decision, so don’t ask me.
After all that, we are at 9/9. A no let for Joel that he cannot review, he is fuming, 10/9 match ball Superman. Another no let for Paul this time saves that match ball for Joel, 10/10.
Then a let transformed in stroke for Paul, and another stroke for Paul to finish, confirmed by the ref. 12/10. No, I didn’t speak with Joel as he would have probably have the same flowery language about the refereeing that Grégoire had against Tarek
It looked very messy to me, the refereeing, the traffic issues – it looked to me that both were blocking, but what do I know. Not the quality of matches we normally see from both players. But hey. Warm, very warm conditions, late night, both extra fit and physical players, need win, not the best of refereeing… It happens.
🗣 "I've got massive respect for Joel, I don't think that's the best match we've played but I'm happy to get through it."@paulcollsquash reacts to his win over Joel Makin tonight at the CIB PSA World Tour Finals 🎥 pic.twitter.com/I9PcMCnobU
— Squash New Zealand (@squashnz) June 24, 2021
“It was a bit of an up-and-down match today, you know. He won the first pretty easily, then I won the second pretty easily and it got scrappy at the end of the third there. Really happy to close it out and to have two wins to start with. Really, really happy to get through that one.”
“He is a very tough player, especially in these conditions when it’s hot, he makes it so hard to win a point. I have massive respect for Joel, I don’t think that was our best match we have played, but I am happy to get through and I will try and push on and get another win tomorrow and make it three-for-three in pool play.
“A win today was vital. Obviously, 2-0 would have been better than 2-1, but a win is better than a loss. I was just trying to win today and get two wins on the board.”