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Two Kiwis reach quarters of World Champs

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Two Kiwis have won through to the quarter-finals of the squash World Championships in Chicago this morning.

Joelle King ranked No.3 in the world won her third match defeating 18th seed Joey Chang (Hong Kong) 11-7, 11-9, 15-13 in 31 minutes in the opening match of day four of the tournament on the glass court in the Grand Hallway at Union Station in Chicago.

Then Paul Coll, the tournament seventh seed played a difficult and often disputed match where he overcame Egyptian 13th seed Fares Dessouky in 71 minutes 11-5, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, also on the glass court.

The win puts Coll into his first quarter-final at a World Championship and could improve his current ranking from six to five. Coll was happy with the win over an opponent who forced him to play at his best.

"I’m just trying to relax myself on the last few points he was coming back so strong. I’m happy with the stuff I’m working on and I’m growing with confidence with every match. I’m very happy with that win, it’s just good to get it over the line. To reach the last eight is all sorts of pressure happening," said Coll who is likely to play second seed Ali Farag (Egypt) who has a 5-1 win-loss record over the Kiwi. That match will be early afternoon New Zealand time on Friday.

King’s win mean the Waikato player equalled her 2017 performance in making the last eight of the tournament. She will now play fifth seed Camille Serme (France) who she has a 5-3 record over, with King winning the last time they played earlier this year in New York. Their match will be on Friday afternoon.

For King the first two games were straight forward, but the third saw her struggle at times with her opponent winning four points in a row to hold an 8-4 lead before the Kiwi then reeled off four points herself. Chan then managed game balls three occasions, but King held strong to eventually win the set and match.

"It was nice to be on the glass today, nice to feel to the vibe out there. It’s cold outside, so it took a little while for the ball to warm. I’m just glad to get one under the belt today really. That last game can be the horror game when you’re up 2-love, please to close it down in the end and get off the court."

Both King and Coll were multiple medal winners at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. King won gold in singles and women’s doubles with (Amanda Landers-Murphy) and bronze in mixed (with Coll). Coll also won a silver in singles.

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