Waikato squash player Joelle King has caused a big upset in the first round of the 2017 J.P. Morgan China Open in Shanghai beating one of her main rivals Laura Massaro in four games.
The English 33-year-old world No.4 could find no answer to King’s early attacks, slumping to a staggering 11-0 defeat in the first game before King quickly doubled her advantage.
Massaro managed to gain some momentum in the third, playing with better control and length, but the early damage couldn’t be recovered and world No.12 King won the contest 11-0, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4, one of her most impressive wins of the year.
“I felt good out there, Laura is no mug, she won here last year, so to come out and win in four is really positive,” said King who had lost to Massaro three times in the past year.
“I was seeing the ball early from the first rally. I was just in front of her throughout that first game and to take it 11-0 was beyond expectation. It can be easy to drop concentration after that kind of score though so I tried to stay calm and not get too excited.
“It’s early in the season, but I put in a lot of work in the summer and if I can keep playing my game and produce more of the same then who knows what will happen.”
King will now face Malaysian eight-time World Champion Nicol David for a place in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile sixth seeded Kiwi Paul Coll moved through is first round match at the same tournament 11-5 11-3 11-4 over Zahed Mohamed of Egypt and will faces fourth seed Fares Dessouky also of Egypt in his quarter-final match.
The China Open has prizemoney of US$100,000 for each of the men’s and women’s draw.
The tournament runs until Sunday night and results can be found on the tournament site here.