James Willstrop (ENG) 3-2 Joel Makin (WAL) 9-11, 12-10, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6 (73m)
There is still life in the Old Dog. “When I can put it together, I really can put it together” commented James at the end of the match that saw him take out the “Man of the Hour” Joel Makin.
I mean, seriously, on a traditional court, do you favour Makin or Willstrop at their stage of their career? Well you would have been WRONG!!!!
I glanced at the third game, we were 1/1, and it was like a lesson in rally construction. The way James is able to play 30 shots to move his opponent around to finally eventually at the end get in the position where he can hit his target and kill the poor bloke, is just masterclass material.
10/4 in the third. To show that Joel didn’t just let the match go: he pushed and twist/turned James all the rest of the game, clawing back to 9/10, finally bowing 11/9. James was class today. Joel was not bad either mind! He was accurate as ever, and took the game to the English very well, in particular that front left corner. But when the pressure is on you, I guess the deal is very different. Joel is not the underdog. People expect him to win. That’s not easy to carry…
When I can put it together, I really can put it together. That third game, pretty crucial, I was cruising, then suddenly, I kept giving points away, errors, strokes. It really was a phasy match, in phases, I was happy the whole way.
When you play against Joel, he’s going to retrieve everything so you have to be accurate and clinical, no way I can play loosely against him, and I have to hit my targets.
I slipped once, but I constantly was putting sweat on my shoes to keep the grip, I think at every rally.
I have been working hard, I feel fit, and you know, once I control the game, I don’t have to do that much work. That’s the principle of squash isn’t it? You have to play accurate not to have to run…