Joel in his second British Nationals final
Karakal's world No.10 Joel Makin has become the first Welshman in history to reach two consecutive British Nationals final after he ousted England’s World No.29 Declan James in a 70-minute battle yesterday evening.
The first two games took 58 minutes alone as Makin achieved two victories on the tie-break, with James matching his opponent stride for stride for the vast majority of the match as he looked to end a three match losing streak to Makin.
However, he was unable to win the points at the crucial stages, and Makin stormed to an 11-3 triumph in a one-sided third game to book his place in the final, where he will play either Adrian Waller who defeated George Parker in the other semi-final.
“30-minute games are perfect,” said Makin. “He was getting in front of me and hitting his kills, and I had to get my width because he’s so big through the middle. The middle of the second game was messy… but you’ve got to adapt to that, find a way around him, and use that to your advantage, and that’s what I started to do at the start of the third.”
“I always want to back myself as soon as it goes long. It’s something that has to be there because if your squash isn’t working then that has to be there to fall back on. It wasn’t at the start of the match, but you’ve got hit your spots around the back and work your way into it.”
“Declan was hitting tight through the back and he wasn’t allowing me to play the squash that I wanted to. It’s unfair to say that I wasn’t good because he was limiting me. I need to tidy things up, I’ll have another hit in the morning, and I’m hoping for a better performance tomorrow. I’ve got to play good squash and stay tough [tomorrow]. When I’m hitting my spots around the back and hitting it short well, I’m hard to beat, so that’s what needs to be there. It’s the quality going short for me, when it’s there I’m playing well."
The men's final will be played at 7:00 PM this evening and if you register for a free account at EnglandSquashTV you can watch the match live.
The womens final starts one hour earlier and features top seed Sarah-Jane Perry and unseeded Georgina Kennedy, who defeated Karakal's Tesni Evans.