[2] Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-0 [3] Joel Makin(Wal)                       12-10, 11-3, 11-9 (72m)

If the conditions were warm for the ladies, they were as warm for the men, as the temperature didn’t drop tonight. And those boys luuuuuved it…

A 25m first game, with Paul leading 8/4 after some very heavy rallies – the ball very alive then – 9/5, but Joel finding some excellent counterdrops, to push a tie-break, saving two game balls from 10/8. A no let and a ball that flies off court, and it’s 12/10 – crucial win I believe, but both players having really tried to attack, and having unforced errors to prove it, 5 for Coll, 6 for Makin.

The second is a no show for the Welsh, not exactly surprising with the work produced, from 3/1 up, he just couldn’t score a single point, hard work just in the legs at that point, 11/3 for Paul, but wait for it, 17m… For 11/3… I kid you not.

Last game looks like a shoe-in for the Kiwi, Joel very white, and drained, still working hard though but very tired, down 5/1, 7/2, 9/4. Finding his second wind, he just clawed back patiently, nothing flashy but as Paul went very passive and lost his length, shots barely reaching the service line, the Welsh came back to 9/9!

But if Paul had been very passive and returning the ball without any kind of purpose for 5 points, suddenly out of the blue, a sublime volley kills nick surprises everybody and especially poor Joel who had worked sooo hard. 10/9, match ball, and it’s a ball that touches the outside line in a short rally that ends the 27m game, 11/9 to Paul.

Joel

He played some great squash, he was tight, consistent and error-free. It was a tough 70 minutes for 3-0. He was consistent and solid.

Paul

I was very happy with my performance, it was probably my best squash all week which is what you want to do. It was almost like a new event this evening because I only got four or five hours sleep, so mentally I had to be on it today.

Joel played really well today but I am happy with my performance and you cannot get better than starting the season with a victory at the first chance.

I led most of the first game so if I let that slip it would have been a real momentum killer for me. I probably should have closed it out a bit easier, but he came back very strong. I think it was key for me, especially because I was in front for the majority of it, so it would have been flattening had I lost it.

In the third, he was tired, but I honestly think he played his best squash well. He was aggressive and I was probably a bit passive because I thought I had already won. He played his best from 9-4 down which was a bit annoying. I am very happy to close it out in three because it would have been a very tough push to get going again in a fourth.

After the final, Makin said: “.”