Joel Makin earned the biggest victory of his career to date after he claimed a dramatic straight-games victory over World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy at the Channel VAS Squash Championships being staged at St. George’s Hill Lawn Tennis Club in Weybridge, England.
ElShorbagy was coming off the back of a title win at the U.S. Open last week, but the reigning World Champion was under pressure right from the off as Makin combined his typically strong retrieval skills with some fine touches at the front of the court.
After conceding the opener, ElShorbagy showed more of his usual aggression as he came back from 9-4 down in the second to force a tie-break, but it spilled over as he received a conduct stroke against him after a disagreement with a refereeing decision, which handed the game to Makin.
That moment proved pivotal as Makin doubled his lead and he fought back from three game balls down in the third to complete the win by a 12-10 13-11 12-10 scoreline.
“It’s massive to beat ElShorbagy,” said Makin. “I had a lot of belief and I knew exactly what I needed to do. I really had to be disciplined and I didn’t think about his form, just focused on the process.
“If I was going to get into the match, I had to switch it and keep getting the height. I had to be positive and my short balls were better today than they have been. I’ve been working on them for a long time, but they came together. They were three really tight games."
Makin’s reward for his shock victory is a quarter-final meeting with Peru’s Diego Elias after the World No.13 got the better of 2015 runner-up Daryl Selby.
The second round of the Channel VAS Championships continues tomorrow (Thursday October 18) and play starts at 17:30 (BST). All of the action will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).
Results – Second Round (Top Half): 2018 Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill
Joel Makin (WAL) bt  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 12-10, 13-11, 12-10 (61m) Diego Elias (PER) bt Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (40m)  Paul Coll (NZL) bt James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 11-7, 12-10, 11-4 (48m)  Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-0: 12-10, 13-11, 12-10 (49m)
Draw – Second Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played October 18 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Greg Lobban (SCO)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v  Saurav Ghosal (IND) Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Tom Richards (ENG)
Declan James (ENG) v  Ali Farag (EGY)
Draw – Quarter-Finals (Top Half): To Be Played October 19
Joel Makin (WAL) v  Diego Elias (PER) Paul Coll (NZL) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
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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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