King makes semis after "marathon" match

By Te Ao - Māori News

Māori squash star Joelle King took out a marathon match to reach the semifinal of the Black Ball Open PSA Gold tournament in Cairo, Egypt.

King was forced to come from 2-1 down against Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa who started the match well taking the first game 11-7.

Chinappa then progressed to a 5-1 lead in the second game before King dug deep to find her way back into the match and draw even.

The Indian player refused to give in as she once again swung the momentum in her favour to take the third game for the loss of just two points as King struggled to contain the Indian player.

The 30-year-old from the Waikato lived up to her number three seed billing though as she once again showed her determination to reach the semi-finals in Cairo as she pushed proceedings to a tense deciding fifth game.

The final game proved to be just as tight between the two players as they traded points, before King was able to grind out a 7-11, 12-10, 2-11, 11-5, 11-8 victory in 64 minutes.

“You’ve got to hand it to Joshna,” said world No.5 King. “She has had an amazing tournament. She beat Nicol 3-0, obviously beat SJ yesterday and came out firing against me today. It’s just one of those wins when you are on the backend of someone playing really well and it took me a while to find my feet, but I think the pleasing thing is that I found a way to win.

“Those matches can be easy to tick off and think I’ve been outplayed, but I dug in and at least thought that if she is going to beat me then I’m going to make it really hard and it’s nice to come off winning.

“Anyone would tell you that you try to forget about matches, but those recent losses are always fresh in your mind.  It was only in August last year and she has showed signs of playing well and has had a great tournament here.  I guess it’s credit to our coach, we having been working with the same coach, so we are kind of doing similar things I guess.  It’s just one of those days, it would have been nice to feel a little less tense, but I guess when you’re the higher seeded player and someone is coming at you then it is easy to get tense and lose your way.”

King will now face either world No.4 Frenchwoman Camille Serme or the second ranked Nour El Sherbini of Egypt in the semifinals.

“Camille beat me pretty badly a few weeks ago at the World Champs.  Sherbini has always got the wood of me and so whoever I play it’s going to be a new challenge. I have enjoy being here this week and hopefully I can put on another good performance.”