Joel Makin has been told to shoot for the squash stars and become the world’s No 1.
The 25-year-old from Haverfordwest showed his credentials when he beat reigning world champ Tarek Momen for the third time in a row at the CIB PSA World Tour Finals on Monday.
Makin has also claimed the scalp of current world No 1 Mohamed ElShorbagy as he has shot up the rankings to No 10 in the world.
Now Squash Wales’ Performance Director David Evans – who reached a career high No 3 in the world in 2001 – sees no reason why Makin cannot take that coveted top spot.
“It would be a disservice to Joel to say he could be top three or top six,” said Evans of Makin, who is back in action at the Mall of Arabia tonight (September 30).
“He has been beating the best players in the world over the past couple of years and there is no reason why he can’t make it to No 1.
“He has beaten the reigning world champion three times in a row now. And two of those wins came against Tarek in his home patch in Egypt.”
“He has has also beaten the current world No 1 in Mohamed.
“Being top of the rankings is all about consistency over a couple of years and beating the best and Joel can do that.
“The good thing is that he is still only 25. He has not reached his peak by any means yet. He’s still quite new in many ways given he’s facing guys in their 30s.
“Hopefully he has got quite a few years left at the top yet.”
No 7 seed Makin beat second-seeded Momen 2-1 in his opening Group B match as he made a triumphant debut on the prestigious World Tour finals.
The Birmingham-based player faces World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy – who plays for Welsh Wizards – and World No.5 Paul Coll of New Zealand in his remaining games.
ElShorbagy, brother of Makin’s sometime training partner Mohamed, beat Coll 2-0 (11-6, 11-5) in 43 minutes on Tuesday to top Group B.
Here are how the group standings look after the yesterday's play at the CIB PSA World Tour Finals ⬇️@noursherbini is the only player through to the semi-finals so far, while Group A in the men's draw could be won by all four players 😲#SquashIsBack #WorldTourFinals pic.twitter.com/zdVXod2tw1
— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) September 30, 2020
“Joel’s win was obviously great news for Welsh squash,” added Evans. “He has got himself into the top 10 in the world which is a just reward for all his hard work.
“The other players obviously know Joel, but that result shows to them he is not a surprise package.It will make them take notice.
“Joel prefers best of five games but he is just as adept over best of three.
“The best of three format means whether you win your match 2-0 or 2-1 can have a bearing on the group.
“But with two matches left he has given himself a great chance of going through.
“These are the top players in the world so Joel knows it is not going to be easy and there is still a lot of work to do to qualify.”