R3:  Joel Makin (Wal) 3-0 Mazen Hesham (Egy) 11-7, 12-10, 11-5 (42m)
Joel Makin beats Mazen Hesham in straight games to reach the quarters …
Different opponent, different form. If Joel was under tremendous pressure yesterday against Patrick Rooney, who made him taste a bit of his own medicine, today, Mazen’s movement was not strong enough to bother him as much.
Of course, Mazen still found some amazing winners, he wouldn’t be Mazen if it didn’t. But he wasn’t able to push as much on his legs he wouldn’t have wanted. Dominated in the first game 5/1, 6/2 8/4 by a Joel’s length and width to perfection, he started a come back at the end of the game but two errors in a row made an end to that 11/7 in 14m.
After Mazen got to the correct seat between games bless him, he got treatment on his calves from the PSA physio Derek Ryan.
Second game is the closest, and the longest 17m. Again, Joel back corners are where he finds his winners. Incredible pressure pinning the Egyptian to the back, but Joel being pushing around too! Strange stats coming from that one: 6 errors from Mazen, but wait for it, awarded 6 strokes against Joel! When was the last time that happened.
After saving a game ball 10/9, we are back at 10/10 and it’s all possible. But again, like in the first game, it’s two errors to end the game, 12/10 to the Golden Tiger.
The third, obviously hindered with his calf worry, the Egyptian was too economical with his movement to but enough pressure on his opponent, and too many errors again, 7/3, 11/5.
“I got a much better weight of line and got across the middle a little bit more, so that was a lot better. You have to be careful against Mazen, I knew that if I wasn’t playing well or I wasn’t sharp or a bit negative then he would hit winners from everywhere, so I had to step up and I thought it made a big difference.
“That’s the fifth quarter final now, I’ve made one semi-final. The quality of my squash just needs to improve, I’m getting there at times and I’m beating higher ranked players but it needs to consistent. I need be confident taking it in and initiating from the start, not doing what I did yesterday – we haven’t played for a long time, but it needs to be better than that. I’m happy with today and that’s the sort of quality I want to play.
“I’m going to sit in the room for another 24 hours. Get some mobility, some food and protein and a stretch and that’s about it for the rest of the day.”
🗣 "The quality of squash needs to improve – I need to be consistent and confident taking it in from the start."@JoelMakin tells us what he needs to do to go from title challenger to title winner in Cairo 🏆#BlackBallOpen pic.twitter.com/7QXZAyeup0
— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) March 22, 2021