Franklin subdued by Welsh No 1
Micah Franklin took solace from knowing that he made Joel Makin work for every point after losing in straight sets in the second round at the Commonwealth Games.
Franklin produced a gutsy display against Makin, who is ranked 43rd in the world, 169 positions above the Bermudian, losing 11-6, 11-3, 11-3 at the Oxenford Studios on Thursday.
He said that even his strengths were sometimes made to feel like weaknesses against the 23-year-old Welsh No 1.
“Every time I was trying to go in short and play my attacking shots he just came back with interest,” Franklin, 25, said. “He was powerful and quick on to the ball. It meant my strengths got almost exposed as weaknesses.
“This is what makes him better and this is what makes him deserving of the win.
“I felt like he was under pressure and I was on top of some of the rallies. I eventually just ran out of gas.”
Franklin, who also fell at the second hurdle at the 2014 Glasgow Games, believes it will take a major upset if he is to one day reach the round of 16.
He could take inspiration from his good friend Chris Binnie, of Jamaica, who pulled off a shock five-games win over India’s Saurav Ghosal, ranked thirteenth in the world, yesterday. Franklin was scheduled to face Ghosal in the Plate round of 16 tomorrow, but his opponent has conceded a walkover.
Franklin will now meet Tayyab Aslam, of Pakistan, in the quarter-finals on Sunday. Aslam is ranked 114th in the world.
“No matter what happens, the second round of the Commonwealth Games will always need an upset for me to win,” Franklin said.
“I’ll have to pull off an unbelievable win against a top-50 player to get further.
Speaking before his draw against Ghosal, Franklin said: “I still have the Plate round to go and have matches to try and push myself as far as a I can. I can still leave for home with some pride.”
Franklin enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win over James Fayia, of Sierra Leone, in the first round yesterday.
“I was super comfortable; I felt on it and was in complete control,” said Franklin, who juggles playing with his coaching role at the Bermuda Squash Racquets Club in Devonshire.
He added: “Ultimately, I need this more often, I need to be playing players like [Makin] if I want to beat them. They are no slouches and for me to get to that stage I need to be playing day in, day out.
“That’s hard in Bermuda, especially with my job and my financial position and they way squash goes.”
Patrick Foster, the BSRA director of squash, said Franklin did little wrong in his loss to Makin.
“He performed admirably and he was up against it,” said Foster, who is also Franklin’s coach. “I’d never seen his opponent play before and Micah described him exactly as that, a very solid opponent with not a lot of chinks in his armour.
“Micah didn’t play badly at any point and I’m very proud of him.
“[Makin] is a seasoned professional and is at that next plateau from where Micah is at the moment.”