New Zealand’s Joelle King has been beaten in the second round of the US$165,000 PSA Women’s World Squash Championship in El Gouna, Egypt to the 2013 champion and new world No.2 Laura Massaro of England in a tight four-game encounter.
Massaro who won the British Open last month dominated the backhand side of the court while King initially made a number of errors which saw her lose the first two games. But a drop in intensity from Massaro saw King fight back in the third game and she raised her consistency to great effect, pulling away from 3-3 to take it 11-5.
The fourth game had both players try to twist and turn each other in a bid to come out on top, with King, 28 building up a game ball to put herself within one point of restoring parity.
However, she was unable to convert and Massaro drew on her mental strength to prevail, taking her second match ball to close out an 11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 13-11 victory in 50 minutes.
“The fourth was really close and I felt like I had pulled away a bit, but then she ended up coming back really well and I was in a little bit of a battle really,” said Massaro.
“It's quite hot on there and it's quite bouncy being on a plaster court. I think I started quite well. Joelle was a little bit off at the beginning but she began to up her game a little bit. I felt like she started hitting to my forehand a little bit more and was keeping it off my backhand. Joelle is such a good player, she's so physical and I'm just pleased to get through that in the end.”
It was King’s sixth time in the world championships with a best result of quarter-finals in 2013, four second round finishes and one first round in 2010.
Meanwhile Kiwi men’s rising star Paul Coll takes on new world No.1 and the current British Open champion, Frenchman Gregory Gaultier on Wednesday morning (NZ time) in the US$150,000 El Gouna International Squash Open, World Series tournament in Egypt.
The El Gouna Championships and the Women's World Championships will be on SquashTV from the 7-14 April. To rewatch any of our Kiwi players past matches sign up to Squash TV here using the promo code NZ50 to receive 50% off your first 3 months.
Paul will be on SquashTV at 6:45am on Wednesday 12th April. Tune in and cheer him on.