8:01 am
24 Jun 2024

Birmingham-based Makin Ousts Momen In Biggest Day Two British Open Upset

4 Jun 2024

Birmingham's Joel Makin scored a major upset on the second day of British Open action when he put in a masterclass to oust five-time quarter-finalist Tarek Momen, the No.8 seed, at the Birmingham Rep Theatre to reach the last 16 round.

The Welshman - who was born in Pembrokeshire before moving to Birmingham - has endured an up-and-down season and spent two months out with an injury at the start of 2024, before returning to form with victory at the Manchester Open two weeks ago.

Makin picked up where he left off there with a controlled performance that saw him complete an 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 win over the former World Champion. In his first ever appearance in the event's third round, the 9/16 seed will play Egypt's Youssef Ibrahim next, a player he beat in the semi-finals a fortnight ago in Manchester.

"We've had some battles over the last couple of years," said Makin after causing the event's first seeding upset.

"My squash was sharp and if my body is responding like it did there I can make it difficult for the best players. I'm happy to win that, he's obviously at the end of his season and he's pretty tired, we're all in a difficult place with our bodies but everyone is pushing.

"He's so attacking and it's so easy to sit back and defend out of the front. You always end up on the back foot, so I had to be proactive, take the initiative and be direct with my attacks. That's what you train for and I put it together well."

In the women's event, England No.1 Georgina Kennedy was forced to battle all the way to five games before finally overcoming Scotland's Georgia Adderley in a five-game thriller.

All six of the pair's previous matches had seen Kennedy win 3/0 and, given that the Englishwoman picked up the Manchester Open title alongside Makin a fortnight ago, the form book was heavily in Kennedy's favour.

However, it wasn't plain sailing for the world No.5, who struggled to put away a tenacious Adderley, eventually prevailing by a 7-11, 11-3, 10-12, 11-4, 11-5 scoreline. Kennedy will go up against world No.16 Fayrouz Aboelkheir for a place in the quarter-finals.

"I knew what was going to happen today in terms of what Georgia brings to the table," said Kennedy.

"Every point is evil and it's really difficult to play against her. I thought she played really well there, that's the first time that I felt I could really lose that match. I didn't feel my best out there, I felt really flat.

"I was thinking of world No.1 Ali Farag, he's said in a few interviews that you have to find a way to win when you're not feeling your best. That's what Ben [Ford, Kennedy's coach] said to me and I had to dig in."

Earlier day two action in the men's event produced two results of historic note: Unseeded Farkas Balazs recorded his second successive upset by beating Dimitri Steinmann, the world No.22 from Switzerland, to become the first Hungarian in the history of the British Open to reach the last 16 round.

Meanwhile, Timothy Brownell, also unseeded, beat France's world No.16 Baptiste Masotti to become only the second USA male to make the event's third round. Should the world No.36 from Philadelphia overcome England No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy, the No.7 seed, he would become his country's first ever quarter-finalist.