British No.2 Joel Makin Looking To Receive Home Boost

Wales’ Joel Makin has been in terrific form in recent events on the PSA World Tour, beating six of the top 10 players in his last four tournaments to earn a spot back inside the world’s top ranking bracket.

The 28-year-old has been based in Birmingham for the last ten years and is relishing another chance to compete in the city he now calls home as the prestigious British Open – which takes place April 9-16 at Birmingham Rep and Edgbaston Priory Club – heads back to ‘The Second City’ for the first time since 2001.

Here’s what Makin had to say when we caught up with him ahead of the tournament:

“It’s big. Obviously we had the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham through the summer, I loved that event. It was great, there was so much support and so many guys at the local clubs really getting behind it. I really felt it had a big impact for a couple of months afterwards where people were taking note of the sport and there was a bit more recognition for it.

“The first round is going to be at Priory (Edgbaston) where I play every day of the week. Obviously, I’ve got Diego [Elias] first round now who’s been, up until the last week or two, the man in form really. He probably looked like he was going to go to World No.1 and then he’s been bumped back a couple of weeks now. He’s going to be looking for the British Open to get his season back on track and get that No.1 spot.

“So for a backcourt match, that’s going to be a big deal. I’m looking to get into the main venue, at The Rep, which is in the centre of town, and I think it’s going to be a class venue by the sounds of it, any of those events have been well supported and I think the tickets are selling out pretty quickly. I think everyone’s getting behind it. I like the city, it’s home for me now and I’ve been there 10 years.

“I didn’t really see much professional squash actually through juniors at all, until I was about 18 I hadn’t seen a professional squash match. So no, I certainly wasn’t growing up watching anything like that.
I haven’t done particularly well in the British, so that has more importance this time because these are the events I want to be going far in and and turning a few guys over.

“Obviously, I know what the history of this event is. It’s about all the greats who’ve won it over the years and it’s one of those events that, alongside the World Championships, that people absolutely peak for and it’s a huge thing in our sport. So I really see the importance of it and having it at home will be nice to hopefully get a bit of a boost and and take some people out.”

Squash fans will be able to watch all the RD1 and RD2 action from the traditional courts on the British Open website, before action from the Rep for the third round onwards will be streamed live on SQUASHTV.