Joel Makin beats Mathieu Castagnet to reach Qatar Classic quarter-finals

Welsh No.1 and World No.33 Joel Makin reached the quarter-finals of the Qatar Squash Classic with a stunning 60-minute third round victory over Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet - a victory that comes just 24-hours after the 24-year-old shocked Colombian World No.6 Miguel Angel Rodriguez in the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour Platinum event.

The Pembrokeshire native, competing in the Doha-staged tournament for the first time in his career, has been in scintillating form so far this week and followed up his first round 78-minute defeat of Rex Hedrick, which preceded his 106-minute defeat of Rodriguez, with a 60-minute victory over Castagnet that saw the Frenchman concede through injury mid-way through the fourth game of their encounter.

Makin had been in control of the match from the outset, showing impressive recovery and tenacity as he out-worked Castagnet during the first two games. The Frenchman found his range in the third to get a foothold on the scoreboard but pulled up at the mid-way point of the fourth game to hand Makin safe passage to his first ever major tournament quarter-final.

“To reach the quarter-finals for the first time is massive achievement,” said Makin. “I hadn’t gotten past a first round before the start of the season so to see the hard work that’s been put in over the summer pray off so quickly is really pleasing.

“Obviously it is massive to be there for the first time and I’m excited to be in the latter stages of one of the biggest tournaments on the calendar.

“There’s been no secret change, it just feels like the accumulation of years of work coming together. I feel like I’ve been gradually increasing my level and because of that I’ve been able to impose my game and my physicality on court better so hopefully I can keep going that way.

“I’ve had a good few weeks recently and had some good results so I’m looking forward to playing again tomorrow and seeing what I can do.”

Makin will go up against 2017 tournament runner-up and World No.4 Tarek Momen for a place in the semi-finals after the Egyptian defeated former World No.1 James Willstrop.

Results - 2018 Qatar Classic: Third Round
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-7 (31m)
[8] Diego Elias (PER) bt Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (36m)
[7] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 3-0: 11-3, 12-10, 3-0 retired (26m)
[4] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 11-7 (45m)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt James Willstrop (ENG) 3-1: 7-11, 11-0, 11-1, 11-7 (39m)
Joel Makin (WAL) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-1: 11-4, 11-8, 7-11, 8-3 retired (60m)
[6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Declan James (ENG) 3-2: 8-11, 11-9, 13-11, 7-11, 11-2 (72m)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-0: 12-10, 11-4, 11-6 (39m)

Draw - 2018 Qatar Classic: Quarter-Finals
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [8] Diego Elias (PER)
[7] Paul Coll (NZL) v [4] Simon Rösner (GER)
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Joel Makin (WAL)
[6] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [2] Ali Farag (EGY)

The rising Welsh squash star will play Mathieu Castagnet of France for a place in the quarter-finals of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour Platinum event.

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Joel Makin uses the UNSQUASHABLE JOEL MAKIN AUTOGRAPH racket which is available exclusively from www.unsquashable.com

James Willstrop uses the UNSQUASHABLE JAMES WILLSTROP AUTOGRAPH racket which is available exclusively from www.unsquashable.com

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