New Zealand’s World No.8 Joelle King booked her place in the semi-finals of the CIB PSA World Tour Finals, taking place in Cairo, Egypt, at the expense of Egypt’s World No.1 Nouran Gohar.
It was a straight shootout between the two players as to who would book their place in the last four, with World Champion Nour El Sherbini already claiming top spot in the women’s Group A at the unique event, which includes round-robin best of three matches in the group stages.
Both players had one win each to their name in the group stages, but it was King who was able to advance after an impressive performance to take out the leading women’s player.
Gohar started the better of the two players, building up a healthy lead to hold four game balls with King trying to match the Egyptian on pace and hitting. However, a change of tactic from the Kiwi mid-game saw her adapt and push Gohar deep into the back corners, taking the pace off the ball to break up the World No.1’s rhythm.
King was rewarded as she saved all four game balls before converting on her first attempt. The 32-year-old, who celebrated her birthday yesterday, continued to keep her focus in the second to nullify the attacking intent of Gohar and take an impressive 12-10, 11-7 victory and qualify in second place in Group A with seven points.
"I just tried to think that I was in a practice match with one of the guys back in Bristol."— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) October 1, 2020
Joelle_King</a> says a relaxed mindset was key to her superb win over World No.1 <a href="https://twitter.com/NouranGohar?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">NouranGohar in Cairo pic.twitter.com/QKx8DUuTzK
“I just tried to think that I was in the middle of a practice match with one of the guys back in Bristol and just relax,” said King.
“I felt like I was playing some good squash in patches but not for long enough. Nouran is such an amazing player and mentally tough, so I knew I had to do something more. I just tried to play each point as it came and I was lucky to scrape the first.
“I was pleased with the mental side and I need to trust the work that I’ve done. I felt like it’s there and I didn’t quite get it out in Manchester, I just wanted to see how well I could play really and I’m pretty happy with that.”
 Joelle King (NZL) bt  Nouran Gohar (EGY) 2-0: 12-10, 11-7 (28m)