Wales’ World No.12 Joel Makin reached his first PSA World Tour Platinum semi-final after beating France’s World No.59 Baptiste Masotti at the CIB Egyptian Squash Open held in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.
The two players had never faced each other before, but have both enjoyed strong tournaments with Makin knocking out World No.3 Tarek Momen at the start of the tournament and Masotti downing World No.9 Miguel Rodriguez at his first Platinum event.
It was Makin who got off to the bright start as he adapted to the court conditions a lot quicker than the Frenchman to take the first game for the loss of just three points.
Masotti came back strongly though as he claimed a strong lead in the second, before Makin battled back to reduce the deficit. However, it was the Frenchman who was able to seal it to equalise.
A tight third game followed with both players pushing each other on court as Masotti once again was able to put the Welshman under some serious pressure with his shot making.
It was Makin’s experience which saw him over the line though, as he took a vital 2-1 advantage which looked to damage the confidence of Masotti as Makin was able to comfortably see out the fourth to claim a place in his first Platinum semi-final in which he will take on Karim Abdel Gawad.
“He was attacking freely and going in short and the ball was quite dead,” said the 24-year-old afterwards.
“Credit to him in the middle, the first two games he was clinical in the middle. The third game was crucial, I had to get the length across the backhand and once I did that it took the middle away and I had a few more chances.
“It was about lengthening the rallies out at times, but it was also about setting a pace and getting across the middle to force him back. He’s a good strong mover and from the middle of the match they compete really well, so I was really pleased to pull away in the end.
“It’s my first semi-final in a Platinum tournament and I had only played one quarter final before, so it was massive for me. Gawad and Marwan both had a tough match earlier, so I’m looking forward to playing Gawad.”
Joel Makin (WAL) bt Baptiste Masotti (FRA) 3-1: 11-3, 12-14, 11-8, 11-2 (57m)