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Joelle King (right) eyes up the ball

King Advances to Women’s HKFC International Semis

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Top seed Joelle King advanced into the last four of the Women’s HKFC International, PSA W25 tournament with a deceptively hard-fought victory over India’s Dipika Pallikal seeing the New Zealander reach her first PSA World Tour semi-final of 2016.

King took the victory in straight games, but was never quite in control as number six seed Pallikal pushed her hard, before she eventually prevailed in an 11-8, 11-6, 11-8 victory.

“It’s a good performance to beat a quality player like Dipika in three,” said King.

“Last time we played I lost a really tough five-gamer, so I’m more than happy with that. It was a bit like yesterday, I managed to stay solid at the end of each game and shut down her attacking opportunities. That’s two good days, but tomorrow is another day.”

The World No.9 will lock horns with Australia’s Donna Urquhart for a place in the final after she overcame Malaysia’s Delia Arnold to seal her semi-final berth.

Elsewhere, defending champion Annie Au joined brother Leo, who reached the semi-final of the Men’s event, in the next round after she came through in five to beat former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf. Au quickly sailed into a two-game lead, before Duncalf upped the pace of the match to fight back to all square.

Au then squandered a match ball at 10-9, but recovered to take the win at the second attempt and set up a semi-final clash with Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa, who downed former World No.1 Rachael Grinham in an exciting five-game affair.

“That was another really tough match,” Au said.

“I started well, but Jenny changed her game, attacked more and came back well. In the fifth it was more about fighting  to stay in it rather than hitting shots. I feel happy and a little lucky to reach the semis.”

Results – Quarter-Final: Women’s HKFC International 2016
[1] Joelle King (NZL) bt [6] Dipika Pallikal (IND) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-8 (36m)
[8] Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt [4] Delia Arnold (MAS) 3-1: 11-6, 11-7, 11-13, 12-10 (49m)
[3] Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt [7] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 3-2: 15-13, 11-6, 6-11, 9-11, 11-4 (40m)
[2] Annie Au (HKG) bt [5] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 3-2: 11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 9-11, 12-10 (53m)

Draw – Semi-Final
[1] Joelle King (NZL) v [8] Donna Urquhart (AUS)
[3] Joshna Chinappa (IND) v [2] Annie Au (HKG)

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