Joel Makin squash

Joel Makin squash. Pic: Getty Images

Joel Makin Just Two Wins From British Title After He Stuns World Champion Diego Elias

All wales sports

By Gareth James

Joel Makin is convinced he has a chance to become British Open squash champion after taking one of the biggest scalps of his career.

The Welsh star – world ranked No.9 – stunned world champion Diego Elias with a brilliant quarter-final victory in Birmingham.

In doing so, he became the first Welshman since 2000 to reach the semi-finals of the historic British Open.

Makin was the first man from Wales since Alex Gough in 2002 to compete in the quarter-finals, but he will now go one better and end Wales’ wait for a men’s semi-finalist since David Evans won the tournament 24 years ago.

“I’ve had (injury) issues this year, but I’m feeling good and I’m in a good place,” said Makin.

“There’s two big matches left now for a big title. It’s anyone’s now and there are going to be some big matches.

“I knew I could upset him a bit, I know he’s an unbelievable squash player, but there was space on there and if my lines were good and I was gripping the ball down the side walls then I know I have a chance against anyone. I’m really happy with how I executed that.

“Me and Miles [Jenkins, Makin’s coach] put together some good tactics and we’ve been pushing hard. It’s not been the best season, but I’m up for it and I want to get these scalps.”

Before this week Makin hadn’t recorded a single win at the prestigious event, but on Wednesday night he produced one of his finest ever displays to complete an 11-9, 11-9, 4-11, 11-8 triumph over the recently-crowned World Champion.

Elias was rattled from the start, seemingly unhappy with the sweat on the court floor. Makin though showed no signs of being distracted and went about his business efficiently to take the opening game.

The Peruvian showed signs of getting back to something approaching his best in the next game as he slowed the pace down, but Makin adapted well and his accurate squash helped him establish a 2-0 lead.

Elias was more focused in the third as he found his winners at the front of the court to halve his opponent’s lead, but that proved to be as good as it got for the World No.2.

Roared on by a partizan home crowd, Makin kept his nerve to move to two match balls ahead and he converted at the first opportunity to send the crowd wild.

“It’s absolutely massive, I felt like I could do that today,” added Makin.

All wales sports

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