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Joelle King in action

CIB Black Ball Open QFs: King Takes Out Gohar

New Zealand’s World No.8 Joelle King ended the run of World No.2 Nouran Gohar as she completed an 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 victory to secure her place in the semi-finals of the women’s CIB Black Ball Squash Open.

Gohar has had a torrid time with injury since the restart of the PSA World Tour following the COVID-19 enforced tour suspension and struggled with her movement once again today as she went down in straight games.

The 23-year-old had battled through back-to-back five-game battles against fellow Egyptian Farida Mohamed and England’s Alison Waters in the previous two rounds and sustained a heel injury midway through her match against the latter, where she came back from two match balls down to win.

But she couldn’t repeat the feat as a professional display from 32-year-old King saw her take no prisoners against an opponent who had lost much of her usual dynamism round court.

For Gohar, it marks a second Black Ball Open campaign that has been disrupted by injury following her retirement from this tournament the last time it was held in March of this year with a foot problem.

King, meanwhile, has advanced to the semi-finals of a PSA World Tour event for the first time since the restart, and she will take on either France’s Camille Serme or England’s Sarah-Jane Perry for a place in the title decider.

“She’s been World No.1 and is World No.2, I knew it was going to be tough and that she would give it everything she had,” said King.

“I just tried to push the pace and make it as physical as I could to try and push her mentally. I think I played really well, there were a few points here or there [that weren’t as good], but I’ve got to be happy with that.

“It’s about trying to do your best, I think, that’s the attitude I’ve approached this week with. You know you’ve done the work but sometimes you go on court and it doesn’t happen. I came with a different attitude this week, I feel really good out there and I’m having fun while I’m doing it.

“I hope I’m on the way up. You get some little testers along the way and I’ve had some tough, tough losses in the last year. Hopefully they’re a distant memory and I’m back on the rise.”

[7] Joelle King (NZL) bt [2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-0: 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 (39m)

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