Top seed Karim Ali Fathi and India’s Ravi Dixit also booked their berths in the semifinals. In the WSA women’s event, India’s Dipika Pallikal made it to the last four after beating compatriot Lakshya Ragavendran 11-4, 9-11, 11-2, 11-3.
The first point of the Sandhu-Makin contest — a lengthy rally with neither player relenting — was an indication of how the rest of the match would unfold.
The second-seeded Sandhu, despite playing some fine squash in the first two games, never had it easy. There were several long points, and the man from Mohali had to expend every bit of his energy. But, he finished on top, employing a lovely blend of forceful kills and delicate drops.
Makin, on the other hand, was often seen to be losing his cool. When Sandhu clinched the first game after being awarded two ‘strokes,’ the Welshman threw his racquet in frustration. He was subsequently given an official warning for racquet abuse.
Sandhu was in his element in the second game, playing some stylish back wall boasts, volleys, and the odd Philadelphia. He even sold Makin a dummy by dropping it after shaping to kill. The 25-year-old wrapped up the game in quick time. The third game saw a determined Makin fighting back, but after being 9-10 down, Sandhu recovered to clinch the match.
Makin was unhappy with a decision towards the end and remonstrated with the referee after stepping out of the court. He, however, resumed playing after being warned that the match would be awarded to Sandhu if he didn’t get back on to the court.
The results (Quarterfinals):
Men: Karim Ali Fathi (Egypt) bt Hannan Tarmidi (Mas) 11-9,11-9,11-6; Ravi Dixit bt Kevin Moran (Sco) 7-11,11-5,2-11,11-6,11-6; Hossam Nasser (Egypt) bt Kush Kumar 11-8,7-11, 3-11,13-11,11-9; Harinder Pal Sandhu bt Joel Makin (Wal) 11-5,11-6,12-10.
Women: Misaki Kobayashi (Jpn) bt Satomi Watanabe (Jpn) 11-3, 11-5, 11-2; Birgit Coufal (Aut) bt Cheyna Tucker (RSA) 12-10, 4-11, 5-11,11-5,11-7; Siyoli Waters (RSA) bt Sivasangari Subramanian (Mas) 12-10,11-8,12-10; Dipika Pallikal bt Lakshya Ragavendran 11-4, 9-11, 11-2, 11-3.