Joel Triumphs at the British Nationals

Joel Triumphs at the British Nationals

Welshman Joel Makin was victorious last night claiming the 2021 British National Squash Championship title at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.

The men's event was always destined to have a first-time winner etched into its history, as both finalists Joel and Adrian Waller were aiming to win their maiden British National crown.

Joel had come through the tournament without dropping a game, while Adrian had had to battle his way through two brutal five-game tussles with Patrick Rooney and George Parker. This, added to Joel's amazing conditioning, helped the World No.10 in his bid for the title and after Joel claimed the first game 11-7, it was plain sailing for the Welshman as he restricted his opponent to just three points over the next two games, to complete a dominant and history-making victory.

Immediately after, in the post match interview Joel said “The last time I got through to the final it was a tough loss for me. It gave me a lot to go away with and work on, so I wanted to come into this week and put that right. It was before lockdown and COVID, so I had a lot of time to think about it and turn things around. I really wanted to come here, play well and put in a solid and professional performance and 3-0 – I was happy with that for sure.”

Referring to his game plan, Joel revealed “I like to out position people, that’s the part of the sport I like. Taking a lot of pace through the middle, volleying and taking early and working people – that’s what I enjoy about it and that’s how I like to play. I got that right this week."

Then, giving us a little insight into his mind-set Joel continued “You could look at last year as being the first final that I’d made, but I wasn’t looking at it like that, I wasn’t happy with it. James [Willstrop] put together a brilliant performance and you have to take that on the chin, he played quality and he exposed some of my qualities but it gave me time to go away and work on it and that’s what you need sometimes."

"It’s exciting having squash back in the UK, especially with a proper crowd and hopefully it grows over the next few weeks. We enjoy it as professional players, it’s been a tough year for everyone and we’ve spent a lot of time in Egypt but we enjoy playing the UK events, so I’m looking forward to it and I should be sharp for next week.”

After congratulating Joel, the runner-up Adrian Waller added “I’m quite proud with how I battled through this week. The last two matches were really long and really hard, finished late last night, so I’m pretty proud to come through those first three matches but today was probably one match too far and Joel was too strong."

The women's title was retained by defending champion Sarah-Jane Perry who defeated the unseeded Georgina Kennedy.

Men’s Final:
[1] Joel Makin (WAL) bt [3] Adrian Waller (ENG)
3-0: 11-7, 11-2, 11-1 (40m)

Women’s Final:
[1] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Georgina Kennedy (ENG)
3-1: 9-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-6 (39m)