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King in action during her second round contest in Cairo

CIB Black Ball Open: King Defeats Naughton In Three

World No.8 Joelle King is into the last eight at the PSA World Tour Gold level CIB Black Ball Squash Open after comfortably defeating Canadian No.1 Hollie Naughton in straight games in Cairo.

The New Zealander started strongly as she aimed to maintain her 100% record over the World No.20, and held a solid lead in the mid-point of the first. Naughton fought back to be level at 9-9, but King won the final two points to take the momentum.

That showed in the second, as the Canadian could only muster a couple of points, as King took complete control of the match, doubling her advantage. The left-handed Naughton started to play better in the third game, but it wasn’t enough, as the Kiwi was able to round out the victory in straight games.

She will be in the first quarter-final of the tournament on Thursday evening, and will face either England’s Alison Waters or Egypt’s Nouran Gohar for a place in the last four.

“The tour is changing. There are a lot of players making their breakthrough and Hollie had a great win yesterday. I had to play good squash and keep her contained. I thought I played well. There were still a few patches that I wasn’t happy with but overall it was a good performance,” King admitted.

“I think that the first, I had a good lead. There was a rally that I took lightly at about 9-5 and it gave her momentum and she came back. That is probably the difference, I managed to get over the line in the first to keep that momentum.

“Obviously, winning the first game is a mental advantage. If you can close the first out and come out strong in the second, you can develop a run of points but when you are competing against another good player, they are trying their hardest to break it. It is hard to get momentum and it is also hard to stop it.”

[7] Joelle King (NZL) bt Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 11-9 (30m)

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