New Zealand squash pro, Joelle King has lost her final pool match at the top-eight player World Series finals in Dubai this morning.
The world No.4 was beaten in the closest possible fashion by Egyptian Nour El Tayeb ranked third in the world in three tight games 11-7, 7-11, 13-11 in 38 minutes.
The Waikato 29-year-old had the better of the opening stages as her precise attacking game enabled her to race ahead to 7-2 but El Tayeb stepped up the court to respond with attacking shots herself and the Egyptian came back to within a point before King upped her game to take the lead by an 11-7 margin.
The second game saw El Tayeb level the scores by the same margin as she built on a strong early lead and she dominated the early stages of the third with some deft touches drawing King into the front of the court.
King fought back from a 3-7 deficit and then match ball down to force a tie-break and she was at her tenacious best as she earned a match ball of her own.
But she was unable to convert as El Tayeb kept fighting and a loose shot at the front of the court resulted in a stroke against the Kiwi player to hand the win to El Tayeb, who will face countrywoman Raneem El Welily in the semifinals
“I really don’t know how I won it, Joelle was playing extremely well at the beginning of the match,” said El Tayeb, who joins husband Ali Farag who is in the men’s the last four. “She was playing so fast, so accurately and it took me a while to get used to her game. I had to focus on my length, the court conditions today were a bit too warm for my shots to go in and be effective.”
King finishes third in her group with one win and two losses. She now returns to New Zealand where she will play an exhibition ‘Battle of the Sexes’ on Tuesday in Auckland against Commonwealth Games team mate Lance Beddoes before competing in the New Zealand National Championships at the Henderson Squash Club, 15-17 June where she will be aiming for her seventh title at the tournament.
Result: Joelle King (New Zealand) lost to Nour El Tayeb (Egypt) 11-7, 7-11, 11-13