R3: Mostafa Asal 3-1 Joel Makin

[4] Mostafa Asal (EGY) 3-1 [10] Joel Makin (WAL)  11-2, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9 (73m)

Next opponent: Mazen Hesham

World No.3 Mostafa Asal had to hold off a late charge from Welshman Joel Makin as he booked his place in the last eight of squash’s pinnacle event.

In recent months Asal has shown signs of returning to the form that took him to World No.1 at the beginning of 2023. After a slow start to the 2023-24 campaign, Asal has reached three finals in his last three events, winning the Black Ball Open and finishing as runner-up at the London Classic and the El Gouna International.

Asal wasted no time in surging into a 2-0 lead, but a tenacious Makin wasn’t quite done. He was more proactive in the third and the winners began to flow from his racket as he halved the deficit.

Asal looked to have come off the boil completely in the fourth, with Makin on the verge of bringing the match back to all square with a 9-6 lead. However, backed on by his home crowd, Asal found one last push and won a flurry of points to earn the win in four games.

Mostafa speaks to Amr Fekry

Mostafa speaks to PSA

“Every five minutes is different with the weather.

“The wind affects the ball and you couldn’t hit your length. There were many stoppages after the second game and in the third and fourth there were more. I was struggling in the fourth and I was out of form. Overall I’m really grateful to go through.

“It’s a different feeling when you’re playing the World Championships and you’re staying at home.”