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Kiwi beaten in semis by squash world No.1

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand squash world No.4 Joelle King has been beaten in the semifinals of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions by top ranked Raneem El Welily of Egypt in dramatic fashion under the chandeliers of Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall.

It was a reverse of the November’s Hong Kong final where King had overcome El Welily for her first PSA Platinum title. However on this occasion the Kiwi started the better of the two to take the opening game 11-9, but it was all El Welily in the second as the Egyptian put in an immaculate display to limit King to just four points as she levelled the scores.

The momentum shifted again in the third as King marched into an 8-3 lead and looked as if she was destined to restore her lead, but she couldn’t hold onto the advantage as El Welily reeled the King back in, with spectators at Grand Central being treated to some high-quality exchanges.

King fought back from two game balls down to force a tie-break, where El Welily held her nerve to go a game up.

El Welily showed why she is the world’s best player to win the final game 11-9 for an overall score 9-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-9 in 50 minutes and an eighth successive PSA Tour final.

"The entire match was very tough, mentally and physically, it was brutal," said El Welily.

King will now prepare for the World Championships in Chicago next month where she is the fourth seed.

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