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Wales' Joel Makin

Qatar Classic Semi-Finals: Player Reaction

We’ve reached the semi-finals at the 2021 Qatar QTerminals Classic with two epic matches in store at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex.

We’ll have reports and reaction from both matches here as the finalists at this year’s PSA Platinum event in Doha are confirmed.

Up first it will be Wales’ Joel Makin against Peru’s Diego Elias for a place in their maiden Platinum final.

They will be followed on court by what is sure to be a thrilling match between Egypt’s Mostafa Asal and New Zealand’s Paul Coll – with the two players having a firey history.

You can watch all the action LIVE on SQUASHTV.

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You can also keep up with the live scores from the event here.

All times local (GMT+3)

Elias Reaches Maiden Platinum Final

Diego Elias in action

World No.8 Diego Elias is through to first Platinum final at the Qatar Classic after defeating Wales’ World No.9 Joel Makin 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7 in 70 minutes.

Elias has not been at his usual best during the week in Qatar but made up for it with an accurate showing against resilient Makin to become the first Peruvian to ever reach the final of a major PSA event.

The 24-year-old, who defeated Makin in the final of the Manchester Open back in August, started strong to storm into the lead, playing the best squash he has all week to take an important first game.

Makin got himself back on track in the second, trying to put work into the legs of Elias as he drew level before a number of decisions and discussions with the referee started to affect the flow of the match.

The Peruvian did not let that get into his head, however, as he made the most of a string of errors from Makin to regain the lead before closing out in the fourth as he targets the biggest title of his career.

“I’m very happy to reach my first [major] final,” said Elias in his post-match interview.

“It’s been six years that I’m in the top 15 and I’ve never made it here, so I’m very happy. I played one of the worst tournaments of my career in the first few rounds and today, I played one of the best matches, I’m very happy and looking forward to tomorrow.

“I’m fit now, I don’t care if the rallies are long, I’m ready to play if I have to. In the morning, I came for like an hour to just do drops because it didn’t work in the whole week. The first three points my drops were already different and were going in quicker and better. When my hands are like this, I don’t mind, I can play for a while now.

“When I played [Mohamed] ElShorbagy here it was a good one, that’s one of my favourites. Today, I played an amazing match, Joel was getting some incredible balls back. I had to work really hard and I’m happy I stayed positive the whole match and got the win.

“I’m relaxed, I don’t mind [who wins the other semi-final], I’ll be ready tomorrow. Both have beaten me in the last few weeks, so I want to get my revenge. I lost in a tough match against Mostafa at the U.S. Open and in the British with Paul, so I’m ready for my revenge and I’m excited for tomorrow.”

[6] Diego Elias (PER) bt [8] Joel Makin (WAL) 3-1: 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7 (70m)

Coll Gets Revenge on Asal to Reach Final

Paul Coll

New Zealand’s World No.3 Paul Coll got his revenge on rival Mostafa Asal after he claimed an 11-9, 11-8, 11-4 victory to reach the final of the Qatar Classic in Doha.

The two players have a stormy history with Asal getting the better of the Kiwi in all of their previous three meetings and adding some exuberant celebrations into the mix that has seen the match up become a fierce rivalry in recent seasons.

However, Coll put an end to his winless streak as he switched up his tactics to keep composed and find his length and range against Asal, who looked to be struggling to find any consistent rhythm in the match.

That win sees 2021 British Open champion Coll reach his third final in Qatar, following the PSA World Championships in 2019 and the Qatar Classic last season. He will face close friend Diego Elias as they both look for their first Qatar Classic title.

“He’s one of the in-form players at the moment,” said the 29-year-old afterwards.

“When you get him in the draw you know it’s going to be brutal and tough. He had an incredible U.S. Open, I’ve got big respect for how he backed up four five-setters in a row, but for me it was a huge mental battle and a hurdle I had to get over to beat him. I’m very happy with my performance today, I changed my tactics a little bit and it worked well for me.

“I had to get it past the volley, avoid the service area. His forehand is a big weapon, he’s so tight down this backhand that it’s a really good combination for him. I had to be really disciplined with my target hitting and get it past him.

“I love it. I’ve been saying all week third time lucky, so I hope tomorrow I can do it. I love coming to Qatar every year, I love this court and I’ve got a good feeling on it. Third time lucky would be great, I’m playing my good mate Diego, so I’m sure it will be a good battle. We said whoever wins is buying the drinks tomorrow night.”

[2] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [7] Mostafa Asal (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-4 (46m)

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