New Zealander Joelle King advanced to the second round of the Naza PSA Women’s World Championship after defeating home hero and tournament wildcard Low Wee Wern in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Both players have been dogged by injuries over the past two years, with King suffering from a ruptured achilles tendon and Low sustaining a knee injury which has seen her World Ranking plummet from 9th to her current ranking of World No.42.
King looked to be approaching something resembling her best form though after a composed display saw her edge a tight opening game, before she upped her game even further in the second to build up an unassailable lead. Low battled valiantly but King continued to push and the result was eventually put beyond doubt as the 27-year-old closed out an 11-9, 11-6, 11-7 victory to reach round two where she will go head-to-head with World No.3 Raneem El Welily.
“She’s similar to me, coming back from injury, so you never know what to expect,” said King.
“I really wanted to do well and I knew that she would be a tough opponent. I’m stoked to be through to the next round. It’s been a while since Raneem and I have played.
“We came through the juniors together, we’re the same age so she’s always been a tough opponent. I’ve never actually beaten her, but it’s a new day and I’m going to do everything I can to be as well prepared as I can be.
“It’s been an interesting journey. The comeback was quite easy because the injury was so bad which meant that every day was an improvement. This is the hardest part because the pressure goes back on and, when you’re inside the top ten, everyone is coming for you.
“Coming back from injury was easy because I felt I still had unfinished business on the Tour. I’m really enjoying my time back.”
Result – First Round: Naza PSA Women’s World Championship
Joelle King (NZL) bt [WC] Low Wee Wern (MAS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-7 (38m)
Watch the El Gouna International, the Women’s World Championship and much more with a Eurosport Player subscription from £4.99. Find out more about the PSA World Tour on Eurosport Player.