2023 Reports 2023 Round One

R1: Joel fluid and strong against Sherbini

Joel Makin (WAL) bt Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY)  11-8, 11-5, 11-2 (47m)

The length of the games tells the story really: 11/8 25m, 11/5 10m, 11/2 7m. Funnily enough, the Egyptian, as he came back on court for the second game, went to the ref: “how long was that??”

Very happy to see Joel’s movement today, very light and off the ball, loved it. He is working apparently with John Williams, and whatever he is doing, it’s working fine!


I am always trying to expand, I would find it boring to be a player that stayed the same, that didn’t evolved and tried to get better. Otherwise I would turn up to every tournament, reaching the quarter finals, someone’s off you get a win, someone is playing well, you lose, it’s a boring way to look at it.

We have a short career, I enjoy trying to get better, that’s why we are here for, and we’ve got to work out ways to get to the top. There is an umbelievable level of talented guys all over now. But I have my own brand, I’ve got things that none of the other players’ve got. So I am trying to make that a real strength and trying to separate myself at the moment.

I don’t have a coach for 5 years now, but I see John Williams at the moment, we’ve been good mates for a few years now. So no major change, no, Johnny is a very analytical guy, so I talk with him about what he thinks the way I should go. Because he was watching me when I was really young. And he’s been watching what I am trying to do, watched my matches. So I am trying to take a bit from him, I enjoy going to him and stay with him.

Today I had to allow extra room sometimes, because I know he loves a lot of contact, as he like the stop start game, the game has to be broken up, he can’t live up the match with me physically I feel. So I was giving him a lot of space, because I wanted him to get to that ball, I didn’t want to block him at all, to get that ball, and get back out.

And I didn’t mind if the rallies were a bit crazy at the start, he was dominating at that start, and sending the ball around, but it didn’t matter, because at some point, they opt out. Two games, and you think do I really want to keep being here, that means a minimum of 80m on court, it’s already been hard, the head is going down a little bit, the excuses start to come to your head, and that’s my favourite kind of matches, when my opponent feels that the best option at 2/0 down it is to hit the ball to the roof…