25 Nov 2018

King reaches Hong Kong Open final

6:03 am on 25 November 2018

New Zealand's world number seven Joelle King eliminated England's Sarah-Jane Perry to win in straight-games to reach her first Hong Kong Open final.

Joelle King celebrating win

Joelle King celebrating win Photo: Steve Line/SquashPics.com

Both players had enjoyed impressive wins the previous day, with King knocking out World No.3 Nour El Tayeb in straight-games, while Perry came from behind to take out defending champion and current world No.1 Nour El Sherbini.

However, in a repeat of the 2018 Commonwealth Games Gold Medal final, it was King who once again claimed victory after she got off to a quick start, looking relaxed and sharp on court, to take a one game advantage.

From then on, the Englishwoman was always playing catch up to the Kiwi World No.7 who consistently found her shots with her strong accuracy and claimed an 11-7, 11-3, 11-7 win in 34 minutes.

The win marks King's second final in a PSA Platinum tournament, after reaching the last stage of the Windy City Open last season. She will face either Egyptian seventh seed, Nouran Gohar or countrywoman, Raneem El Welily who is the second seed. The final will be held at 9pm Sunday evening NZT.

"I felt like I played well," said the 30-year-old after reaching her first final of the season.

"SJ has had an amazing week and two really tough matches. I just had to think about making it hard for her at the start and try to not let her back in.

"We have had some epic battles over the years, today it was 3-0 but it is always mentally so tough against her.

"At this level you have to take a bit of confidence from previous matches, but everyone is so good that on the day, whoever plays their best squash and whoever shows up mentally is the one that wins on the day. I took a few things from the previous matches, but today was a new day.

"This is the closest tournament to New Zealand, so it's like playing at home a little bit. I've been coming for eight or 10 years and let's hope that I can make it a win tomorrow."

New Zealand has had three previous winners of the tournament; Susan Devoy, Leilani Rorani and Carol Owens.